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Fishlabs GmbH
Company typeDivision
IndustryVideo games
Founded2004; 20 years ago (2004)
  • Michael Schade
  • Christian Lohr
  • Galaxy on Fire
  • Chorus
Number of employees
75 (January 2024)
ParentDeep Silver (2013–present)

Fishlabs GmbH (formerly Fishlabs Entertainment GmbH and Deep Silver Fishlabs) is a German video game developer based in Hamburg. Founded in 2004 by Michael Schade and Christian Lohr, the studio is best known for its Galaxy on Fire series.[1] Following a brief bankruptcy proceeding, Fishlabs was acquired by Koch Media and reorganized as part of their game publishing label Deep Silver.



Fishlabs was founded in 2004 by Michael Schade and Christian Lohr, incorporated under the name Fishlabs Entertainment GmbH.[2] That same year, the company received a round of financing, which allowed them to pay for development expenses for several years while generating revenue from their releases.[3] It developed advergames like Barclaycard's Waterslide Extreme.[4] In May 2010, Fishlabs planned a series B round and announced its plans to move into the massively multiplayer online games market.[5]

By mid-2013, Fishlabs had run out of money; in October, 25 jobs were cut before the company went into self-administration.[3] On 2 December, media company Koch Media announced that it had acquired Fishlabs, which would henceforth operate as the dedicated mobile studio for its game publishing label, Deep Silver.[2] As the agreement was an asset deal, all of Fishlabs' assets, including 52 employees, were transferred to Koch Media and incorporated in a new division, called Deep Silver Fishlabs.[3] The company's former legal entity, Fishlabs Entertainment GmbH, was to be dissolved, and both founders left the company.[2] Schade and Lohr left the company and founded Everspace developer Rockfish Games.[6] As result of the change in ownership, and the associated financial stability, Fishlabs also moved into video game publishing.[3]

In March 2022, Fishlabs received €5.5 million in funding from the German government for the company's Project Black. Described as a third-person action game, the project was expected to be completed by August 2026.[7] By January 2023, the company employed 95 people.[8] In September, Embracer Group, the parent company of Koch Media (now known as Plaion), underwent cost cutting restructuring. Project Black was cancelled and about 12 employees were laid off.[9]

Fishlabs then pitched a new Red Faction game following the closure of series developer Volition. Despite initial positive reception, the title was cancelled in November 2023 and around 50 Fishlabs employees were laid off.[9][10]

List of video games

Year Title Platform(s)
2008 Motoraver 3D J2ME
2009 Galaxy on Fire iOS, Symbian, J2ME, Android, Zeebo
2009 Powerboat Challenge iOS, J2ME, Zeebo
2009 Rally Master Pro iOS, J2ME, Symbian, Zeebo
2009 Deep 3D J2ME,Symbian
2010 Galaxy on Fire 2
2011 Android, Macintosh, iOS, PC
Snowboard Hero iOS, Android
2013 Galaxy on Fire: Alliances
2014 Secret Files: Sam Peters
Secret Files: Tunguska Android, iOS
2015 Galaxy on Fire: Manticore Rising TvOS
Lost Horizon Android, iOS
Secret Files: Sam Peters Android
2016 Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore iOS
Sacred Legends Android, iOS
The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizza Boy
2017 Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore Android
Galaxy on Fire: Alliances
2018 Dead Island: Survivors Android, iOS
Manticore: Galaxy on Fire Nintendo Switch
2019 Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package
2020 Saints Row IV: Re-Elected
2021 Chorus Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
2023 Valheim Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S


  1. ^ Etherington, Darrell (11 February 2013). "Galaxy On Fire Space Sim MMO For iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Coming In Q3 2013". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Corriea, Alexa Ray (2 December 2013). "Galaxy on Fire developer Fishlabs purchased by Koch Media". Polygon. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Chapple, Craig (14 May 2014). "'It was the hardest time we've ever gone through': How Fishlabs came back from the brink". MCV. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  4. ^ Dredge, Stuart (27 July 2009). "Fishlabs reveals Waterslide Extreme iPhone stats". pocketgamer.biz. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  5. ^ vaughn597 (12 May 2010). "Next10: Fishlabs to move into mobile MMOGs, Series B round planned". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (31 January 2018). "Rockfish Games: Building success, piece by piece". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  7. ^ Gameswirtschaft (4 April 2023). "Games-Förderung: 5,5 Mio. € für Chorus-Studio Fishlabs". GamesWirtschaft.de (in German). Retrieved 21 June 2024.
  8. ^ Fröhlich, Petra (16 January 2023). "Die größten Games-Studios in Deutschland 2023 (Update)" [The largest game studios in Germany in 2023 (update)]. GamesWirtschaft (in German). Archived from the original on 21 January 2023. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  9. ^ a b Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (20 June 2024). "How Embracer's cuts killed a potential Red Faction sequel and gutted a promising studio". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 21 June 2024.
  10. ^ Phillips, Tom (28 November 2023). "Layoffs hit Galaxy on Fire, Chorus developer Fishlabs - sources". Eurogamer. Retrieved 28 November 2023.