Runic Games Closed Down

While this is not Diablo or Blizzard news I thought I would share with you as Runic Games has historic ties with the Diablo franchise. Sadly, today the Torchlight and HOB developer has been closed down.

Runic Games was founded in 2008 by Blizzard North co-founders Max Schaefer and Erich Schaefer along with Fate creator Travis Baldree. They released the ARPG Torchlight series to critical acclaim and I’m sure many of you have played it. In 2010 Perfect World bought a controlling stake in Runic Games for a reported $8.4 million USD.

Today Perfect World not only shut down Gigantic developer Motiga but also Runic Games as part of their “company’s continued strategy to focus on online games as a service”.

Studio Head Marsh Lefter issued a statement on the Runic site this evening.

It’s been over nine years since a rag-tag team of 17 developers helped open Runic Games. We’ve been so lucky for the community that has supported us and made us successful. Thanks to that support, we have had the chance to meet and work with the best people in the world. Our team here at Runic has released three successful games, and over that time we have seen many changes; team members got married, kids were born, but the most important thing is that we have become a family.

I’m sorry to say that today will be Runic’s last day open. Our focus is on our family here, and helping them find a new place to call home. If you are in games and looking for some of the best talent in the industry, please email [email protected].

For those that love the Torchlight series, there will be some news coming. And for all our fans, our community and multiplayer services will keep running even after the studio’s lights go off.

It has been an amazing experience. To my family here at Runic, I know we won’t be far from each other, and I’ll miss seeing you all every week.

This is sad news for Runic, their latest games HOB was really good. From all us here at Diabloii.Net we wish everyone at Runic the best of luck. Let’s hope they get a new studio up and running.

Thanks PC Invasion.

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  1. The saddest part of all is the reason behind it.
    A tragic loss for classic games that you buy and then simply own.

  2. That would be a good opportunity for Blizzard, to get some coremembers of their ARPG-Brainjuice back into the fold. As it would be best for all the game universe series and their development, in a secondary locality, like it once was with Blizzard North, which was fruitfull ESPECIALLY because of Blizz North inside view with an outside peek. Perhaps at San Francisco, catering to DiabloVR and [re]gaining access to the rights and catering to the development of Hellgate:VR … 😉

    As would it be an opportunity to cater for the community by creating a correlating outside view with an inside peek for them (in varied degrees of trust), even at the time of planning The new project[/s].

    Just my two cents …

    • I doubt the Schaefers or Travis would want to go to Blizzard. I mean they started their own indie studio, and deliberately kept headcount low, for a reason.

      • My Guess: Partly due to reasons of the people they’d founded Runic Games with and partly due to awareness of a learning curve ahead of themselves to not go the hellgate-mistake way of Flagship Studios, binding themselves to a publisher out of monetary necessety who leaves no room for finishing up development of the necessary groundbase and polishing, pushing release.

        Would be a good question to ask Travis and Schaefer, though, WHY they’ve kept headcount low …

  3. Sorry to hear that former Blizzard North staff got let go, wishing them good luck in their careers!
    They have thus far done a GREAT job, both at former Blizzard North, and Runic Games.

    By the way, Diablo 3 is also an online game as a service.

    ******The moment Blizzard switches off Diablo 3 servers, you cannot play Diablo 3 anymore!
    (Therefore you do not really “own” your “bought” Diablo 3 game).

    • You are absolutely right. 🙂

      But I think that, however, doesn’t make this less of a loss for games not adhering to that philosophy.

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