Prison Architect 2 developer Double Eleven has been replaced by publisher Paradox Interactive after working on the series for nearly a decade

Two prisoners fist bumping
(Image credit: Double Eleven/ Kokku)

After being delayed twice in the last year, the upcoming management game Prison Architect 2 has hit another bump. The original developer, Double Eleven, is leaving the project after failing to reach a commercial agreement with publisher Paradox Interactive. 

"After nine years together, Double Eleven is leaving Prison Architect. Double Eleven has been with us since the console port, led the development of the game on all platforms, and has been working on Prison Architect 2 over the last few years. With the sequel passing certification on all platforms, the contract was fulfilled. However, we could not find a commercial agreement that worked for both parties moving forward and mutually agreed to part ways," the current Prison Architect 2 team at Paradox Interactive said in a statement on the Steam page.

The new developer working on Prison Architect 2 is Kokku, a Brazilian co-development company that has previously done 3D artwork on Horizon Forbidden West's weapons and robots as well as porting Golf Club Wasteland to PS4, PC, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. 

"After talking to multiple studios, Kokku was found to be the best fit for the game going forward, as they are veterans in the gaming industry and also long-time fans of Prison Architect," the team says. 

Despite this news seemingly coming out of nowhere, this isn't a sudden decision. In fact, Kokku has been working with Double Eleven since the autumn of 2023. "This transition has been a smooth experience for us all, as we share a common long-term vision of Prison Architect 2," the team says. "We want to build the game’s future with you, the players." 

Double Eleven shared a heartfelt goodbye to the fans who have followed its progress for the last nine years with Prison Architect: "It's with a mix of emotions that we announce that our work on Prison Architect 2 is coming to an end," Double Eleven says in a Twitter post. "This decision has been taken as Paradox and Double Eleven couldn't find a commercial agreement that worked for everyone to support the game beyond the launch. So with a mutual appreciation of that Paradox found a new partner." 

While some prospective players have been wishing Kokku the best of luck in finishing up the work on Prison Architect 2, others are taking this as a more ominous sign. "This has put a dark cloud over this title for me." one player says in response to Prison Architect's tweet. "I was so excited to play it, but now I just feel cautious." 

The complicated development of Prison Architect 2 has also only been made worse by the less-than-ideal launch of one of Paradox's other games, Cities: Skylines 2. A shaky launch plagued with performance issues followed by a disappointing DLC has left many players who were once die-hard fans of the game pretty jaded. It's no secret that Paradox hasn't had a great run as of late, but here's hoping that Prison Architect 2 breaks this cycle despite all the development hiccups. 

News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.