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Torchlight 2: Co-Founders Leaving Runic Games

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Runic Games co-founders Erich Schaefer and Travis Baldree are both leaving the studio that created Torchlight and Torchlight II. According to a forum post, the pair leave in good stead and will continue working together in new ventures. They have plans to pursue smaller development where, as Baldree put it, they can "wear many, many hats performing many, many different kinds of tasks." 

Max Schaefer posted directly after:

Hello Runic community,

Yes, it's true. Our beloved President and lead key-masher, Travis Baldree, is leaving us, as is Erich Schaefer, my brother and long-time biz partner. As Travis said in his statement, this is a perfectly amicable parting, and we wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavor. I'm sure we'll all be watching and waiting for what they make next. It's sure to be wonderful.

Meanwhile, the rest of us here at Runic are excited to move on and continue to work on this crazy, cool, completely secret project we've been working on. We're champing at the bit to talk about it, but will wait until we're ready to show it off. Travis' right-hand man for over ten years, Marsh Lefler, has seamlessly moved into the lead chair at Runic, and after we've sent Travis and Erich off in a bourbon-fueled celebration/wake, you'll find that Marsh is more than capable of taking the reins, and the other 20-something Runic members all eager and able to pull the extra weight. Change is scary, but it's often good. And this is healthy for both Runic, and Travis and Erich.

From all of us at Runic Games, we thank Travis and Erich for the incredible body of work they leave behind, for the legacy that they left with us, and for making Runic Games what it is today. Best of luck to both of them in their new crazy downsizing scheme, but they won't need it. They will do just fine, as they always have. And to all of you out there, thank you for supporting us, and continuing to support us as we move into a future full of unknowns, excitement, adventure, and most of all, great games!

Best regards,

Max Schaefer

CEO, Runic Games

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,523Member Uncommon
    Best of luck to all of them! 
  • HokieHokie Vancouver Wa.Posts: 1,063Member Uncommon

    I wonder why?

    You think its to cash in on some of this free crowd sourcing money?

    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon
    That's exactly what I think.

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • AlomarAlomar Middle Earth, NJPosts: 446Member Uncommon
    Not like they built some large company bought by an even larger publisher and were unable to make the games they wanted to the way they wanted to. Seems like aiming towards crowd-funding is the most logical reason.

    Dozens of MMO's, RTS's, FPS's, etc.

  • ThupliThupli Spokane, WAPosts: 583Member Uncommon
    I love runic! Wishing everyone there as well as the departed all the best. Loved TL2... WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SEEN a TL2 graphic mmo with wasd movement!! Looking forward to the secret project reveal! Then I won't have to keep searching "runic games" and "new mmo"!!
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,205Member Uncommon

    Thanks for the Torchlights and I wish them the best. I am looking forward to seeing what they cook up next.

    I can understand wanting to reform a company and do something different. It's easy to get in a rut when you develop the same thing for a long time. It sounds like they want something smaller and more hands on.

    If they do want to KickStart and it looks fun then I'll be in. They have offered both TL and TL2 for really good prices and have been great to the community. I have no reason to believe their upcoming projects will be any different.

  • StizzledStizzled Springfield, MOPosts: 1,264Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hokie

    I wonder why?

    You think its to cash in on some of this free crowd sourcing money?

    Most likely, and to free themselves from Perfect World.

     

    I hope they go back to their roots. The cutesy Torchlight was alright for a while, but with the MMO being cancelled I completely lost interest. Time for them to get back to the drawing board and give us something more serious and dark.


  • EcocesEcoces Chicago, ILPosts: 879Member Uncommon

    Ok now give me a game with MMO combat but Diablo/Torchlight II Mechanics.

     

    I will be hooked forever!

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,051Member Uncommon

    They are leaving to pursue smaller development ? But, Runic studio is like 6 people ...

     

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  • dotdotdashdotdotdash Llandrindod WellsPosts: 364Member
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    Originally posted by Hokie

    I wonder why?

    You think its to cash in on some of this free crowd sourcing money?

    Most likely, and to free themselves from Perfect World.

     

    I hope they go back to their roots. The cutesy Torchlight was alright for a while, but with the MMO being cancelled I completely lost interest. Time for them to get back to the drawing board and give us something more serious and dark.

    Travis has only ever made cutesy hack 'n' slash games, so I have no idea what you mean by "getting back to their roots". Further, why don't you... play something else... if you don't like the tone of their games? Plenty of other games for you to get your teeth into without having to warp every creation under the some to your preferences. It's time for Runic to make whatever they want to make, irrespective of the naive, presumptuous demands of gamers.

  • jcsadonejcsadone WroclawPosts: 58Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    They are leaving to pursue smaller development ? But, Runic studio is like 6 people ...

     

    and one big perfect world chain ;).

    I do not blame them, but still. I really wanned that MMO to see the light and I dreamed about TL2 expansion, or TL3 maybe?

  • StizzledStizzled Springfield, MOPosts: 1,264Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by dotdotdash
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    Originally posted by Hokie

    I wonder why?

    You think its to cash in on some of this free crowd sourcing money?

    Most likely, and to free themselves from Perfect World.

     

    I hope they go back to their roots. The cutesy Torchlight was alright for a while, but with the MMO being cancelled I completely lost interest. Time for them to get back to the drawing board and give us something more serious and dark.

    Travis has only ever made cutesy hack 'n' slash games, so I have no idea what you mean by "getting back to their roots". Further, why don't you... play something else... if you don't like the tone of their games? Plenty of other games for you to get your teeth into without having to warp every creation under the some to your preferences. It's time for Runic to make whatever they want to make, irrespective of the naive, presumptuous demands of gamers.

    Yes, I realize that Travis started with Fate, moved on to Mythos and finally TL and TL2. I was more referring to the Schaefer brothers whose roots are in the Diablo series.

     

    I had plenty of fun with both TL and TL2, but they got old after a while as games often do. The announcement that they weren't going to be working on the MMO anymore just totally killed my interest in TL altogether, sorry if that angers you. I never said anything about warping TL into something else, so I don't even know where you came up with that. I'm just hoping that, since they've left Runic, they'll give us something dark and gritty.

     

    I don't know if this news just really pissed you off or what, but you need to calm down a bit.


  • RenkoRenko LondonPosts: 97Member
    I suspect we will soon hear that Perfect World has already signed an agreement to buy out Runic. That's the only thing that would make sense of the founders leaving.
  • SeelinnikoiSeelinnikoi LONDONPosts: 661Member Uncommon
    No wonder Torchlight 2 is dead as content and updates have stopped 2--3 months after launch...
  • Methos12Methos12 Maladis 46Posts: 1,234Member Uncommon
    Good for them. I can only surmise working under Perfect World's yoke didn't turn out to be as fun as they thought it would.

    Nature without Technology is little more than animals running about.
    Nature without Magic is without wonder or miracle.
    .........
    Magic without Technology is fantasy.
    Magic without Nature is formless and useless.
    .........
    Technology without Nature is application without understanding.
    Technology without Magic is repetitious and uninventive.
  • killion81killion81 A City, MIPosts: 985Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Renko
    I suspect we will soon hear that Perfect World has already signed an agreement to buy out Runic. That's the only thing that would make sense of the founders leaving.

     

    If that were the case, I feel like the founders would wait until after the sale, then take that money and leave... at least, that's what I'd do in that position.

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    I will laugh if they do go to a Kickstarter. That really is the trend lately isn't it? Leave a big company then do a Kickstarter. Not saying it's a bad thing. Just interesting how more and more developers are jumping on it. Pantheon is definitely one of the first signs people's pockets might be emptying out though.

    Still DYING to see how Greed Monger turns out. I hope that comment doesn't get me sued...

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  • AsamofAsamof La Canada, CAPosts: 738Member Uncommon
    Remember when everyone was chanting that this was the true diablo 3? Too bad there's still more people playing D2 today than T1 and T2 combined 
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Seelinnikoi
    No wonder Torchlight 2 is dead as content and updates have stopped 2--3 months after launch...

    This is a single/multiplayer game not an mmo. It sells for $20 and they give you their toolset for free. There are tons of mods and a huge community. Did you expect them to continue to sell DLC packs? You can get those from the community for free.

  • PlutonasPlutonas AthensPosts: 32Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by Seelinnikoi
    No wonder Torchlight 2 is dead as content and updates have stopped 2--3 months after launch...

    This is a single/multiplayer game not an mmo. It sells for $20 and they give you their toolset for free. There are tons of mods and a huge community. Did you expect them to continue to sell DLC packs? You can get those from the community for free.

    Exactly +1 I love Torchlight both of them a true magical game!!!

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,926Member Uncommon

    The torchlight games are just too small.  It makes me wonder what they could have created if they had a huge budget and bug dreams.

     

    Still, that game has made a lot of people happy.

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