Raphael Colantonio, co-founder of Arkane Studios, is leaving the company after nearly 20 years.
He announced his departure in a public note on Bethesda.net, home to the development studio’s publisher.
“The last 18 years have been an amazing adventure — from starting Arkane in 1999, to making our first game, Arx Fatalis, to joining ZeniMax Media in 2010 and releasing the Dishonored series and Prey to critical acclaim — it is time for me to step out to spend some time with my son and reflect on what is important to me and my future,” Colantonio wrote in the letter to Arkane fans.
Top designer Harvey Smith will continue to oversee the Austin-based team, while Colantonio will stick around to help oversee the management team replacing him in Lyon, France. He neglected to say whether this is an exit from the games industry as well as one from Arkane.
Prior to starting Arkane, Colantonio worked at Electronic Arts and Infogrames. In 1999, he opened up Arkane with a group of friends; after working on games like Call of Duty: World at War and BioShock 2 — as well as some high-profile canceled projects, including Steven Spielberg’s LMNO — the company released Dishonored in 2012 to critical acclaim.
“I’ve lived many magical moments,” Colantonio said. “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.”
For more on the history of Arkane Studios, read our feature on “the mirror men of Arkane.”