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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ATI-MIZ

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Oh no i can't believe this is happening again...this is like when konami disband team silent and they've worked on their separate way...nooooo why marriage need to devorce whyyyy,whyyyyyyyyyyy.....


"World will not be great without peanuts"

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Algearond

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First time seeing this, looks pretty cool going to have to pick this one up......provided I can ever put ESO down lol

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Hurvl

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"where I can wear many, many hats" Runic isn't enough Team Fortress 2-ish anymore? I thought they were still quite a small studio, but apparently not small enough. Has the success of Torchlight 2 made the limited funds go away and left a limited influence in their place? Whatever the case, with the right talent and the right game, any new studio can be successful, so I don't think this was a bad move.

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The-Neon-Seal

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Who's gonna be next to join in the great dance of the industry shuffle?

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Auriken

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Oh my God, Runic is dead now! How can they possibly survive and make new games without their founders?! Everything they make in the future will now be bad!


*cough* Sorry, I had to mimic the stupidity of those people who said much the same thing when the co-founders left Bioware.

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The-Neon-Seal

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<< LINK REMOVED >> [Cough]Starwarstheoldrepublic[/Cough]

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Cloud_imperium

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Runic Games was a small , independent (mostly) and new studio . I don't know why are they leaving the studio so quickly after founding the first one . Now , I'm really worried about Torchlight 3 . TL2 was one of the best and most addictive games I've ever played .

I wish them luck on their new journey .

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Vojtass

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I never finished T2. I was bored and stopped on 25th level. I guess hack'n'slash games are not for me. :)

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Suaron_x

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Three guys started Runic games. Baldree and Schaefer are leaving. That means there could've been friction with Hu or with the publisher Perfect World. Perfect World bought a majority of shares and therefore effectively owns/runs the company.

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Daian

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I don't get it, it was a small studio anyway, they already feel the need to start new? That's a bit hasty.

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tommynj

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Perhaps Runic games is planning to do a bigger game instead of small lesser known titles ? Interesting... I wish Travis and Erich well.

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snugglebear

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snugglebear  Online

They only had like two games, so it's hard to imagine them getting so big a split was required. Having said that, wishing them good luck. Torchlight games were amazing.

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Gallowhand

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I really like the Torchlight games. I'm curious to see what these guys will bring next from their new studio.

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galeta

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torchlight 1-2 such a good games but they never support these games with more content. if you create something good, why dont you keep it coming. it's hard to understand.


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damnyou444

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good luck guys.

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damnyou444

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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ! damn !

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Gamerno66666

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Devs leaving. Devs leaving everywhere.

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The-Neon-Seal

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<< LINK REMOVED >> They're going to pool their knowledge and tallent to create... The Company!

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Hurvl

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>It's all Emmy Gration's fault, damn the emigration of devs, they just can't stay in one place for a reasonable amount of time. They always want to go elsewhere.

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Longini

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So wait is Max leaving too?

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GSGuy321

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This is the direction gaming is going. Can't say that it's a bad thing. The direction gaming was going up until a couple of years ago was that power was being concentrated all at the top. There were only a few companies (Ubi, EA, Activ) who wielded all the power. And what did we get.... Exclusivity deals, monopolistic practices, less and less options, less and less creative games. Year after year the same damn games. Absolutely no creativity and less & less options.

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The1337Dunham

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah. I for one am not upset at the split. All it means is 2 different studies of great talent can make games they way THEY want, which means more great games for us.

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Suaron_x

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Starting a new company and becoming successful with it is not an easy task. These guys helped create the Diablo series then founded the Torchlight series, now they are kicked to the curb again (from their own studio this time). How could you be "super-stoked" to be starting right back at square one, for the third time? I guess next time they won't let another investor gain a majority stake in their company...if they are even capable of pulling off a three-peat.

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RossRichard

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My guess is they will be on Kickstarter before long. Seems to be the way everybody is going.

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GSGuy321

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Good luck to them.

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xsonicchaos

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Guys, stop creating new independent studios! This kind of stuff is depressing Peter Molyneux.

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SkyAboveThePort

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Depressing Molyneux is a good thing though? Right?

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Blood_Angel

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Depressing Molyneux sounds like a meme.

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xsonicchaos

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

Yeah, but it's not nice to upset senile old people. No, come on, I went too far.