Founded in 1999, Arkane Studios is a game developer with offices in Lyon, France and Austin, Texas. Arkane released its first game, Arx Fatalis, in 2002. With its innovative magic systems and rich, cohesive environments, Arx earned the studio some major awards, including a nomination as Rookie Studio of the Year. In 2006, Arkane created Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, a game known for innovations in body awareness and its unique first-person combat system. Dark Messiah garnered the IGN Reader’s Choice for the Best PC Action Game of 2006. Along the way, Arkane Studios has worked on projects with Valve, Activision, Electronic Arts and 2K Games, contributing to AAA games such as Call of Duty: World at War and BioShock 2.

In August of 2010, the company was acquired by ZeniMaxMedia.[1]

Partnership with 2K Games Edit

Under the direction and leadership of 2K Marin, Arkane Studios assisted in the creation of design, animation, and art for BioShock 2.[2] They notably worked on the first six levels of the game.[3]

A 2020 Noclip documentary interview with Romuald Capron (Lyon Studio Director) and Sébastien Mitton† (Lyon Art Director) clarified Arkane' role on BioShock 2, travelling between Lyon, France to Novato, California to work with 2K Marin. Namely they did the level architecture and level design of six levels as well as the Big Sister and Little Sister animations.[4]

An anecdote that Mitton shared was that he had seen BioShock being played in Arkane's offices, but never played the first game before since the scaling of objects felt unrealistic such as the "enormous" luggage found in the Bathysphere Station in Welcome to Rapture. Though as a "visual perfectionist", he oversaw the rescaling of objects to more reasonable proportions such as the luggage found in the Rapture Metro station in Adonis Luxury Resort.

Mitton's comments have been translated from the original French for clarity.


  • Arx Fatalis (2002)
  • Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (2006)
  • Arx Fatalis: Collector's Edition (2007)
  • Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements (2008)
  • BioShock 2 (2010)
  • Dishonored (2012)
  • Dishonored 2 (2016)
  • Prey (2017)
  • Deathloop (pending)
  • The Crossing (defunct)
  • LMNO (defunct)
  • Half-Life: Ravenholm (defunct)


  1. "Bethesda Now Owns Arkane Studios" article by Evan Elden Eller at
  2. "BioShock 2 zaps fourth dev house". GameSpot (July 10, 2009). Retrieved on September 5, 2009.
  3. Dishonored, alchimie gagnante, an interview of Arkane Studios' developers Sébastien Mitton and Dinga Bakaba on
  4. Noclip Documentary: The Untold History of Arkane: Dishonored / Prey / Ravenholm / LMNO / The Crossing starting at approximately 49:32
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