Torchlight 2 demo out now, Runic explain budget pricing: "we want a bigger community"

Torchlight 2 is out! If you're uncertain as to whether you ought to splash $20 on Runic's charming new action RPG, you can download a demo now from the Torchlight 2 site .

But why is Torchlight 2 so much cheaper than your typical new release? Runic took to Reddit to explain their reasoning behind the pricing in a recent AMA session . Here's Blizzard North founder and Runic co-founder Max Schaefer's view:

"We sell for $20 because we want a bigger community, and for people all over the world to enjoy our game. Not everyone has $60 lying around. Plus, digital distribution, like on Steam, makes this more economically viable for a company like us. We couldn't make money selling $20 boxes only, but we'll do fine with this price because of the trend towards digital distribution.

"With respect to piracy, a small company like ours isn't going to solve it. And the last thing we think is appropriate is to punish our honest customers for something other people are doing. We believe that if we put out a quality game at a fair price, there will be less incentive to pirate the game, and that those who do pirate it may decide to buy it down the road. That's our approach and we're sticking to it!"

Travis Baldree also weighed in on the piracy issue, saying "I don't think anti-piracy measures work super well in general."

"Being nice and transparent about what we do, and charging a reasonable price, seems like the most effective way to convince people to buy our stuff. That, and a demo. I mean, we HAVE DRM. But it's not super-draconian. It's mostly there to allow a mechanism to continue playing after you unlock the demo, which is the same download. It will, of course, be cracked within minutes. It probably already HAS been cracked!"

During the course of the chat with the Reddit community, the team mentioned that Runic's next project isn't likely to be another Torchlight game, which suggests that the planned MMO has been shelved for now.

"The landscape is a little different than a few years ago, and creating the amount of content we did for Torchlight 2 was a supreme effort with a team this size. Taking on an MMO immediately afterward is not our current desire," said Baldree.

For now Runic are concentrating on adding a few extra bits to Torchlight 2. "The current plan is to do a few free things that we'll release to everyone over the coming months - a pet, some new items, a random map set, and things like that."

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.