Diablo III Slowing Development; Denying Subscriptions
Torchlight, Runic Games' overtly familiar homage to Diablo, has sold well on both PC and Xbox Live Arcade... but there may be trouble ahead for the sequel. Torchlight 2 is set for release this summer, and Runic's Max Schaefer explains that Blizzard's juggernaut franchises will impact their upcoming title in a number of ways. Mainly because they'll be too busy playing Diablo III to get any development done.
Speaking to Charge-Shot, Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer explains that Diablo III will be a "day one" purchase, and may lead to delays and slowed development simply because the small dev team will be too busy looting and grinding. Apparently T0rchlight 2 will also be reminiscent of the classic Diablo formula, but rather than being just a lazy clone, it's a casualty of genre stagnation that's rampant in the industry these days.
I think that very few people are making an entirely new genre with their games, so in a sense they are competing with the big hitters, no matter what you’re making. The action RPG genre is still pretty thin. I think that there’s more demand than there is product.
Too right. However, despite Diablo III providing the main direct competition, Runic are more worried about the unstoppable titan that is World Of Warcraft. Schaefer believes that there's no room for another subscription-based RPG in the market, and that Free-To-Play models are the only way forward for competing games.
I don’t think really anyone can do [subscriptions] anymore because pretty much everyone that does subscriptions has one for WoW.
Torchlight 2 will bring Multiplayer and a host of new features to the familiar formula and is set to release this June on PC. Console ports are TBA. Considering that we gave the recent XBLA version 8/10, colour us excited.