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Raphael Colantonio, creative director of Dishonored and Prey, is leaving Arkane

Raphael Colantonio, the founder of Arkane Studios and creative director on Dishonored and Prey, has announced that he is leaving the studio "to to spend some time with my son and reflect on what is important to me and my future." 

"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," Colantonio wrote in his farewell message. "I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest people in the industry, and I feel extremely lucky to have been part of this journey with everyone at Arkane." 

Colantonio said he will stick around "for as long as necessary to ensure a smooth transition to the new management team in Lyon," while is "long-time friend and colleague" Harvey Smith will head up Arkane's Austin operation. He also praised ZeniMax, which acquired Arkane in 2010, for giving it the opportunity "to emerge as a world-class studio."

"ZeniMax enabled us to make the best games that we’ve ever made," he said. "And I know there is even more to come."   

Colantonio's departure is significant, because he's headed up nearly every game Arkane has made: Before Dishonored put the studio into the big leagues, he was the lead designer on Arx Fatalis (which you really should play if you haven't) and writer and creative director on the criminally-underrated Orc-booting sim Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. He's certainly earned the right to take a break and do something new, but it's a real loss for Arkane and gamers alike. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.