Raphael Colantonio, president and founder of Dishonored and Prey developer Arkane Studios, has announced that he is stepping down from his position after 18 years with the company. Colantonio founded the studio back in 1999 which was later acquired by Bethesda parent company ZeniMax in 2010.

"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 said in his farewell message. "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."

"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 also noted that the studio's acquisition by ZeniMax "took things to the next level."

"I've lived many magical moments. I've also been through the hard times," he said. "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."

He said he would continue to stay on as long as necessary to make sure the transition over to new management team in Lyon was smooth. Harvey Smith, a co-creative director at Arkane, would take over as head of the Austin team, he said.

Colantonio did not mention if he plans on returning to the game development industry sometime in the future or who will be running the studio's France-based location.

"I wish the best to everyone at Arkane, Bethesda, and ZeniMax. Without a doubt I will miss everyone," Colantonio continued. "I'd like to thank the Arkane fans for their passion and support. I proudly join them as Arkane Studios' biggest champion, and I look forward to playing the extraordinary new games the studio is working on."

Arkane's recently released sci-fi thriller Prey was launched to decent critical acclaim in May. Last year, Arkane launched its inventive stealth title Dishonored 2 that IBTimes UK described in its review as "one of the finest stealth games ever."

At E3 2017, Arkane unveiled "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider" - a standalone adventure that takes place after Dishonored 2 ad is set to release later this year. Death of the Outsider will see players take on the role of assassin Billie Lurk, complete with some new powers and abilities, as she and her mentor take on the powerful, black-eyed supernatural being called the Outsider.

Death of the Outsider will release both digitally and physically on 15 September for PS4, Xbox One and PC.