Torchlight co-founders leave Runic Games to start new studio

Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer to head up a new studio, Double Damage Games.

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Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer, co-founders of Torchlight II developer Runic Games, are leaving the studio to start a new development outfit.

Baldree announced the news on the Runic Games forums, and said that the split was "amicable". Baldree and Schaefer will now head up a new studio, Double Damage Games.

"I should say from the outset that this is an amicable departure," said Baldree, "that I consider the amazing team at Runic my friends and family, and that it is a privilege that they've let me get away with running the place for this long. I love them all, and the biggest downside to all of this is that I won't get to see them every day. They are the reason that Runic has succeeded, and are the best group of people you could hope to meet or work with."

"I feel more than confident in their ability to continue to excel, drawing on all of their collective talent. I'm excited for the world to see the project they are working on now, and I know it will be spectacular when you get to play it for yourselves."

Runic released the action role-playing game Torchlight II back in September 2012, which has now sold over two million copies. Publisher Perfect World bought a majority stake in the studio back in 2010, after the successful release of the original Torchlight.

"I'm personally excited--oh, hell, I'm super stoked--to be getting back to smaller-scale development, where I can wear many, many hats performing many, many different kinds of tasks. Working within the boundaries of limited means and resources is the best fun I've ever had, and that sort of work satisfies me in a fundamental way--I can't wait to be working that way again."

Runic Games was founded in 2008 by Baldree, Blizzard North co-founders Max and Erich Schaefer, and Peter Hu.

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