|Industry||Computer and video games|
|Founded||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (January 22, 2000)|
|Headquarters||Vancouver, British Columbia|
Number of employees
Piranha Games Inc. is a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company was founded by two members Russ Bullock, President and Executive Producer and Bryan Ekman, VP and Creative Director. Piranha Games is one of the oldest independent game developers in the Vancouver area and currently housed in the International Village Mall in the Chinatown area.
During the fall of 1999 three entrepreneurs set out to create a Half-Life mod called Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza (DH:NP) (originally started by Jason Holtslander). After working together for a few months the team received a letter from Fox Interactive requiring all work on the mod cease and desist. Russ, Bryan and Jason used this event as a catalyst to pursue their dreams of starting a new development studio and turning Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza into a full product for the PC platform.
Piranha Games Inc. was officially founded in early 2000 by Russ Bullock, Bryan Ekman, and Jason Holtslander, with an initial infusion of private funding. After an 8-month period of creating demos for Fox Interactive, a deal was struck in August 2000, and Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza was officially under production.
Work began in earnest on DH:NP mid August, 2000. The team doubled in size from six developers to twelve and moved into its new office location in Downtown Vancouver. Production on DH:NP moved along steadily through the winter and into 2001 in preparation for E3 2001. After a modest E3 showing, DH:NP continued development, targeting a fall release date. Crunching hard for the next 6 months, with the team exhausted and the ownership at odds with each other, the game's ship date slipped into spring 2002. During the summer and fall of 2001 Jason Holtslander was bought out by the remaining principals.
With the departure of Holtslander, Piranha refocused its energy towards finishing DH:NP and expanding the business into the casual space through the creation of a new label and company called Jarhead Games. In the spring of 2002 DH:NP was released.
In the summer of 2005 Piranha Games began working on an unannounced next generation title which was later revealed to be a new Mechwarrior game. In the spring of 2007, Piranha Games was contracted to work on EA Playground for the Nintendo DS and Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 for the PSP.
In 2011, after failing to work with former rights holders Smith & Tinker to fund a new MechWarrior game, Piranha Games bought the rights to the series from them.
After a lengthy period without news regarding the new MechWarrior game, Piranha announced that the game, after some 'false starts', had become MechWarrior Online, and had been transformed into a mech-based MMO. MechWarrior Online ended Closed Beta phase in 2012, and officially launched following an Open Beta in fall of 2013 to mediocre reviews from critics, and poor reception with fans of the franchise.
Piranha Games has worked with Gearbox Software to develop the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, along with the multiplayer component of Duke Nukem Forever. Additionally, they continue live development for MechWarrior Online.
- Bass Pro Shops: The Strike (Xbox 360, Wii, Windows)
- Duke Nukem Forever (Windows, Xbox 360, PS3)
- MechWarrior Online (Windows)
- Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza (Windows)
- EA Playground (Nintendo DS)
- Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 (PSP)
- Need For Speed: Undercover (PSP)
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Windows, Xbox 360, PS3)
- Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt (Xbox 360, Wii, PC)
- Bullock, Russ. "President". Piranha Games. Retrieved 24 February 2014.