Publisher Perfect World have been wielding the axe on more than just Motiga today; Runic Games are also being shut down. The developers of the Torchlight series had only recently released puzzle-platformer Hob.
Formed in 2008 by Blizzard North co-founders Max Schaefer and Erich Schaefer, along with Fate creator Travis Baldree (who departed in 2014), Runic were best known for aRPGs Torchlight and Torchlight 2. Given the Schaefer’s experience working on the original Diablo, that’s not too surprising.
Perfect World (a name that must now sound rather bitterly ironic to the studio) acquired a controlling stake in Runic in 2010 for a reported $8.4 million USD.
In a statement about the closures of both Motiga and Runic, Perfect World say the decision was “part of the company’s continued strategy to focus on online games as a service.” A familiar refrain from the industry of late.
“We’re grateful to the team for all of their hard work bringing incredible experiences like Torchlight, Torchlight 2 and Hob to life. Runic Games will remain a part of Perfect World Entertainment’s portfolio of studios, and its games will continue to be available to players, as we stay committed to supporting and growing Runic Games’ beloved franchises,” the statement continues.
It concludes by saying that the staff reductions at Motiga and the closure of Runic Games were “unrelated”. Though exactly what they mean by that isn’t really clear.
Update: A full statement from Runic Games confirming the closure has been posted on their official site and can be read below too. It’s written by studio head Marsh Lefler.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
You haven’t heard the last of us.