Raphael Colantonio, the founder and president of Arkane Studios and creative director of recent fuzzy alien basher Prey, has stepped down from the studio after 18 years. “It is time for me to step out to spend some time with my son,” he wrote in a statement, “and reflect on what is important to me and my future.” Colantonio was also the co-creative director on Dishonored, and the man who once referred to us grubby journalists as “press sneak fucks”.
That latter accolade was part of a series of emails received by Kotaku suggesting that he and Bethesda’s Pete Hines weren’t entirely forthright when they denied any involvement in taking over a Prey sequel back before anyone knew about it. Basically, he got caught being not-totally-honest and then he got caught calling the people who caught him a bunch of “fucks”. OH WELL.
But that’s only the most salacious moment of Colantonio’s career with Arkane, which began in 1999. He’s worked on some much-loved games and was part of the team before ZeniMax took over the studio, working on fantasy RPG Arx Fatalis. Here’s the core of his parting statement:
I’ve lived many magical moments. I’ve also been through the hard times. But, I can say that joining ZeniMax took things to the next level and gave Arkane the opportunity to emerge as a world-class studio. ZenIMax enabled us to make the best games that we’ve ever made. And I know there is even more to come.
ZeniMax strongly believes in Arkane’s ability to make great games, and is committed to supporting the studio. My long-time friend and colleague, Harvey Smith, will oversee the team in Austin and I will be around for as long as necessary to ensure a smooth transition to the new management team in Lyon.
I wish the best to everyone at Arkane, Bethesda, and ZeniMax. Without a doubt I will miss everyone.
So, Harvey Smith, his co-creative director at Arkane, is taking over the Austin team. What that means for development and the way they do things at Arkane isn’t clear just yet, but we've reached out to Harvey Smith for comment.