Torchlight studio's co-founders depart for "smaller-scale development"

Phil Savage at

Two of the co-founders of Runic Games, the studio behind the wizard-bothering Torchlight series, have announced their departure from the company in pursuit of "smaller-scale development". In a post to the Runic forum, Travis Baldree revealed that both he and Eric Schaefer would be stepping down as early as next week. Of course, Runic were originally set up as just such a small-scale studio, but grew after the success of Torchlight and were subsequently acquired by Perfect World. And so, the circle of life continues.

"It is with the strangest mixture of elation, fondness, fear, and bitter-sweetness that I'm announcing my departure from Runic Games," wrote Baldree, "a company which I co-founded nearly six years ago, and have led as its President and lead engineer ever since."

According to Baldree, they leave on amicable terms with Runic, who have since promoted Marsh Lefler into the top spot. As yet, there's still no clear announcement of what Runic are working on, although a Torchlight MMO has long been discussed.

"I'm personally excited - oh, hell, I'm SUPER-STOKED - to be getting back to smaller-scale development," Baldree wrote, "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."

Baldree signed off with a contact address for fans to use, one which suggests that their new studio will be called Double Damage Games. I am now taking bets on whether their new project involves top-down heroes punching skeletons into dust.

Thanks, Eurogamer.