Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer has commented on the upcoming Torchlight MMO’s most troubling and obvious competitors – Diablo III and World of Warcraft.
Schaefer, who himself worked on the first two Diablo titles at Blizzard, told Charge Shot!!! Diablo III’s release could have a direct impact on Torchlight II and the Torchlight MMO’s development – but perhaps not in the cynical marketing way you might imagine.
“Of course we’re going to buy one Day One and it’s going to slow us down and all that – ‘cause we’re just as much fans as anyone,” he said.
Schaefer said comparisons are inevitable, but that every genre has to deal with the same problem.
“I think that’s true really for everybody. 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,” he explained, adding “The action RPG genre is still pretty thin. I think that there’s more demand than there is product”.
After commenting that the team couldn’t afford to ignore Diablo III, Schaefer said another of Blizzard’s massive games couldn’t go unregarded.
“You can’t really approach any MMO project without taking into account World of Warcraft. It’s the elephant in the room of every MMO company”, he said.
“I don’t think really anyone can do [subscriptions] anymore because pretty much everyone that does subscriptions has one for WoW,” he added.
The original Torchlight is available through Steam on Mac and PC, and via Xbox Live Arcade. Torchlight II, which adds multiplayer to the indie dungeon crawler, will release for PC in July, with a console port on the cards at a later date.
No release window has been set for a planned MMO based in the games’ universe.