Published: Tue, November 07, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Cory Rios

'Torchlight' developer Runic Games shut down by game publisher Perfect World Entertainment

'Torchlight' developer Runic Games shut down by game publisher Perfect World Entertainment

Runic Games, the Seattle-based studio behind Hob and the Torchlight series, is no more.

In a statement on the Runic Games website, Studio Head Marsh Lefler thanked the community of fans for supporting the studio. The most interesting for me is that before Perfect World made a decision to publish Torchlight (which is a brilliant action-RPG, by the way), Microsoft came very close to snapping the title up.

Aside from Runic Games, Perfect World Entertainment also laid off most of the employees of Motiga, another Seattle-based developer which created the hero shooter "Gigantic".

We may be spoilt for choice for games to play right now, but news like this is a stark reminder that things are more unsafe than ever for those working in the games industry.

Lefler noted that "community and multiplayer services will keep running even after the studio's lights go off", and added that news about the Torchlight series is forthcoming.

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The closure of Runic was part of the company's "continued strategy to focus on online games as a service", it said in the statement, emphasizing the scaling down of Motiga and closure of Runic Games were "unrelated".

KitGuru Says: It seems that Runic Games had a turbulent journey and succumbed to the bad fate of its publisher being more interest in the games-as-service market than the traditional single-player experience, which is a shame because Hob looks great. They didn't mention Perfect World, instead focused on thanking staff for their work.

If you liked Torchlight then check in on Andy's review of Hob, Runic Games' last hurrah. 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. "Perfect World Entertainment stands committed to delivering the best massively multiplayer online gameplay experiences to our players".

"I'm sorry to say that today will be Runic's last day open".

A former Motiga employee revealed the news on Twitter, before the studio's founder and CEO, Chris Chung, confirmed the closing to Destructoid.

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