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With the announcement of Torchlight II barely a day old, Gamasutra fired off several questions to Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer. The interview covers a variety of topics but of most interest to our readers is a discussion about the reasons behind a cooperative Torchlight before releasing the MMO.
The Torchlight MMO -- you said you're still working on it alongside Torchlight II but why not just focus on the MMO first?
There are a couple reasons. I think that we were overwhelmed by the response after Torchlight came out. Everyone said they loved it, and there were generally good reviews, and I think that literally every comment in every review said it would've been better with co-op. The more we thought about it, we could give people what they're asking for, and give them a nice, co-op Torchlight experience a lot faster than we could do an MMO. So it felt like there was a vacuum there. We decided to do it, because it'd make the MMO better in the long run because we'll have a little more experience with making a multiplayer Torchlight, and it'll give people what they want in the meantime. We kind of ran out of reasons not to do it.
The rest of the interview focuses on lessons learned from Torchlight I, retention of current players, game sales, console development and the resurgence of the action RPG genre.
Read the full interview at Gamasutra.