Torchlight II devs not worried by Diablo III launch date

Monday, 19th March 2012 11:38 GMT By Alex Donaldson

Runic games have posted a blog reassuring fans that their plans for Torchlight II won’t be swayed or effected by Blizzard’s announcement of a release date for Diablo III.

The announcement last week that Diablo III would arrive on May 15th was hotly anticipated. Fans were elated at finally having a day to mark on their calendars, while one analyst suggested the dungeon crawler would sell 5 million units in its first year on sale.

That makes its launch all the more intimidating for the team at Runic games, the team behind the Diablo-like Torchlight series. The studio is helmed by Max and Erich Schaefer, who were instrumental in the creation of the Diablo series.

How does the announcement effect Torchlight II? Not at all, Runic was keen to clarify.

“We know a lot of you are worried about us. We’ve heard what you’re saying, and sure we’ve had similar discussions,” the statement on their blog begins.

“But we began making the first Torchlight in 2008 when development on Diablo III was already underway. We didn’t let that be a reason that we couldn’t make an RPG. We made the commitment to create a game we loved to play. That’s what’s important to us, and that’s why we go to work every day.”

“We’ve chosen to stay small with a total team of 32. We want to be the company that works hard and makes something we love,” it later adds.

The statement concludes by congratulating the team at Blizzard. “We’re happy for the team at Blizzard – it’s been a long haul for them. We are looking forward to our home stretch too.”

Thanks, AusGamers.



  1. Maximum Payne

    But still, they should release at least 20 days earlier.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    What would they stand to gain from that? They’d enjoy 20 days as a semi-recognized hack and slash, and then they’d be hit by the tsunami of hype and PR for the other guys.

    Easily the best thing they could do is not try to compete.

    It’s definitely better to let Diablo III cool off before they launch. And if Torchlight really is the more imaginative of the two, it’ll be recognized as such.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Sini

    meh, no one cares about this game now that diablo3 is almost here

    #3 3 years ago
  4. viralshag

    I’m not sure. I think they would stand a better chance of getting in before. There’s going to be a cheaper price tag and I see more people buying this as an impulse “fill the hole” purchase before D3 hits.

    If D3 lives up to the hype, I can’t see any reason why I would bother getting this.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. jacobvandy

    Torchlight 2 will let you play OFFLINE – +1
    Torchlight 2 will be available on Steam – +5
    Torchlight 2 will probably be $40 cheaper than Diablo 3 – +10
    Torchlight 2 may be a more faithful successor to Diablo 2 than Diablo 3 itself – +50

    It’ll do just fine.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 Mostly good points, but the last one is pretty ridiculous.

    Pretty much everything that’s wrong with Diablo III is wrong with Torchlight, from the cartoony graphics to the lackluster doom and gloom.

    Some people are rooting for the underdog, and Torchlight is obviously a great game, but I still don’t see why Diablo III wouldn’t turn out just fine.

    It seems pretty based on the people behind it. But that doesn’t really make sense. The Runic guys had their shot at making D3, but it was shut down. Since then some of them have done Hellgate London which was a horrible piece of crab, and the D3 team is sporting Jay Wilson (Dawn of War) and Leonard Boyarsky (Designer and lead artist on Fallout etc.).

    I don’t really see how either can be disregarded in advance.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    Eh. I disagree with DSB (no big surprise there).

    I think the problem here is that DSB seems like a big Blizz fanboy, something that I’m not.

    One problem I’ve always had with Blizzard is the only original titles they’ve ever released are the Diablo games and the Lost Vikings. The Lost Vikings was before Blizzard became so big that they just started ripping off good ideas rather than coming up with original titles. And the Diablo games? They were developed by Blizzard North.

    Now, Blizzard North was a separate entity from Blizzard, a completely different development house. They actually had some creative vision. They brought a lot of popularity to Blizzard with the Diablo games, and we’d already seen the slippery slope Blizzard had started down with the original Warcraft.

    The original Warcraft was supposed to be a Warhammer game, but Games Workshop wasn’t fussy on the game, so they couldn’t secure the license. The response by Blizzard was to change the setting enough so that they wouldn’t get sued, but to make a Warhammer game anyway.

    And then Blizzard continued to rip things off for the rest of their games development history.

    Starcraft ripped off WH40k (obviously), Warcraft III and World of Warcraft borrowed more from Warhammer, and even right up to current day, in Mists of Pandaria there are going to be dynamic events and banners for Warriors (no, really).

    This is why I’ve always thought of Blizzard as a bunch of talentless bums.

    Blizzard North were different.

    And they left when Blizzard started becoming too corporate, which stifled their creativity and didn’t let them create the games that they wanted to make. So they parted ways with Blizzard (and didn’t have very pleasant things to say about them in magazine interviews at the time), and formed their own development houses.

    After a bunch of the founders left Blizzard North, there was a mass exodus of employees to both ArenaNet and Flagship Studios. They lost so many employees that they actually had to close down Blizzard North permanently.

    One of them was ArenaNet, the other was Flagship Studios.

    Flagship Studios had a poor run because of bad leadership under Bill Roper. So that studio went under and Roper abandoned it. The rest of the Blizzard North guys at Flagship Studios went on to form Runic Games. And those guys came out with the absolutely fantastic Torchlight, which felt closer to a Diablo game than anything had in years.

    The problem with Diablo III is that it sucks.

    My time with it (I managed to grab a key to try) showed it to be what I could only describe as single-player WoW. And reading a lot of what other people have said of it, I’ve heard a lot more people saying that. The reason this is so is because they have WoW guys and a bunch of unknowns working on this.

    Blizzard never knew how to make a Diablo game, that was Blizzard North. This is evidenced by, as I said, the original Torchlight being more true to Diablo than anything had been in years. And Torchlight II is on a much more massive scale.

    here’s another funny thing, though: Blizzard were originally going to rip off how Torchlight did a talent pool rather than talent trees, but they figured out that was too obvious because everyone picked them up on it. And that’s the issue, here. Blizzard? No talent hacks. Runic Games? The spirit of Diablo.

    Do they have any reason to worry? Not really. I mean, I know Torchlight II won’t be as graphically resplendent as Diablo III will be, from a bigger studio, but that never mattered.

    Also, aside from that, you have shitty elements of DIII like…

    - No mods. Torchlight II has mods.
    - Buy to win (real money auction house). Torchlight II doesn’t do that.
    - Ubisoft-like DRM for singleplayer. Torchlight II doesn’t do that.

    So, yeah. I have no interest in DIII.

    I think that Diablo III is likely going to be a bit of a flop, this is why they panicked and rolled it into their yearly subscription thing for WoW. It’s honestly not very good, and I have no doubt in my mind that Runic Games, the real Diablo developers, have a winner on their hands.

    If they’re bringing it out just before Diablo III, then that’s clever. The reason being is that people will inevitably compare how good Torchlight II is with how terribad Diablo III will be. (Unless you happen to think that a singleplayer WoW sounds like the best game ever. In which case I really can’t take you seriously.)


    “However on June 30, 2003, several key employees left Blizzard North [...]”

    “The Blizzard North exodus continued on with around 30 employees leaving the company in total.”

    “The resignations were partly due to a conflict with Blizzard Entertainment’s owner, Vivendi, and partly due to employees wishing to start something new.”

    “[...] founded by Bill Roper along with Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik, the original developers of Diablo and former high level Blizzard North executives.”

    “[...] ormed by Travis Baldree (creator of Fate), Max Schaefer and Erich Schaefer (co-founders of Blizzard North), Peter Hu, and the Flagship Studios Seattle team responsible for Mythos.”

    That’s a comparison of the features in the two games.


    Ultimately, the spirit of Diablo went on to Runic Games. Blizzard retained none of the talent that created the original game, and I haven’t seen any talent shown by Blizzard in years. They’re a corporate shell of what they used to be.

    This may be the flop that actually kicks some sense into Blizz fans, really. Especially since comparisons with Torchlight II will be inevitable.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that Blizzard will buy a large number of ‘perfect scores’ from magazines (a very real issue which I’ve highlighted on the forums), but anyone with any sense doesn’t put much stock in reviews any more. It’ll be word of mouth across the Internet that does the most.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    I think the problem here is that DSB seems like a big Blizz fanboy, something that I’m not.

    Yeah. I’m not. I didn’t enjoy Starcraft 2 and I thought it was disappointing.

    The fact that I’m not blindly tossing myself at the underdog, in spite of greatly enjoying Torchlight means nothing.

    Unless of course you’re a retarded fanatic who needs everything to be black and white. That would arguably make me a Blizzard fanboy for not sympathizing with your deeply introverted and completely unnuanced mega-rants.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. TheWulf


    Read my post to understand why he’s pretty much objectively right.

    Or don’t, and flounder around. It’s up to you.

    The spirit of Diablo, the original creators, are Runic Games. The people who’re best equipped to make a new Diablo game are the original creators. Not to mention that Blizzard is so corporate at this point that they’re not really allowed to take the chances that Runic Games can.

    And really, if you think that Diablo III (a single-player WoW made by WoW veterans and unknowns) is going to be more faithful to Diablo than Torchlight II (a game made by many of the original Diablo developers), then you’ve been smoking something. And no, I don’t want any of it. You can keep it.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TheWulf


    You sure sound like one.

    I mean, to attack Torchlight based upon graphics? Yeah.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB

    @10 A common feature with fanatics is that they tend to think everybody else is just like them, just for the other side.

    Read my post to understand why he’s pretty much objectively right.

    Or don’t, and flounder around. It’s up to you.

    Are you channelling George W. Bush or Osama Bin Laden? I can’t decide.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. TheWulf


    No, it’s just the way that you’re attacking a game because of its graphics. That sounds like fanboyism to me.

    You forget these guys are a smaller studio. And thus their approach to graphics is easier for them to do more of.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    @12 I believe you’re the only person here who would see that as an attack. If I attack something, I do it with a lot more excitement than simply listing the style of the artwork.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. TheWulf

    “Are you channelling George W. Bush or Osama Bin Laden? I can’t decide.”

    Good lord, did you edit and really go there? Wow. I must be really pushing your buttons if you’re essentially calling me a poopy head by comparing me to political big bads.

    Oh my gosh.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. TheWulf


    You did cite the cartoony artwork as being a problem. You’re backpedalling.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. TheWulf

    Either way. I think that the Runic Games guys have a much better chance at developing a true Diablo sequel than a bunch of WoW vets and unknowns at Blizzard. That was the point of the argument, and that’s what you’re disagreeing with.

    There’s absolutely no way that you can be right in saying that Blizzard will be able to create a more true Diablo than Runic Games could without the original talent there. No amount of bluster, no amount of sound and fury, no amount of name-calling, and no amount of back-pedalling will change that.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. TheWulf

    And really, it’s lovely that you’re attacking a Torchlight II news thread. If that’s not Blzzard fanboyism disguised with some faux criticism of Diablo III, I don’t know what is.

    Really, you’re too obvious, DSB.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. DSB

    @15 It’s not much of a problem for me, I’m not that opposed to change, and D2 looked terrible. What’s funny is that cartoony graphics seem to be a problem for the people who believe that Torchlight 2 is going to be the second coming.

    As you’ve just exemplified, what’s totally unforgiveable for Diablo 3 is apparently perfectly alright for Runic, “because they’re small”.

    I do miss the doom and gloom from D2, it was deliciously morbid, but Torchlight never offered any of that either. How is it supposed to provide a substitute for it?

    @17 I don’t know. People can read your accusations, and they can read my posts. I think it’s pretty obvious to any sound individual that I’m not out to “get” Torchlight.

    I thought it was great, and I’m pretty sure I’ve said so a million times right here on the site.

    I just don’t see what distinguishes Torchlight II as better than Diablo III based on the previews of either game, beyond the systems (ie everything but the games themselves).

    #18 3 years ago
  19. TheWulf

    I won’t participate in this mockery any more, anyway.

    What I will say is this:

    Those interested? Click this link. Have a read of the article and the comments, then decide for yourself.

    …but here’s one relevant quote from a comment on that article, because I can’t resist.

    “[...] but I can’t help but wonder why those who are looking forward to D3 so much get so defensive when someone speaks glowingly of Torchlight and mentions that the original Diablo developers are at Runic now? It gives off a vibe that they are Blizzard fans first and foremost, and fans of Diablo/the action RPG genre second.”

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DSB

    Some things are better left to speak for themselves.

    “I don’t really see how either can be disregarded in advance.”

    “Bla, bla, bla, I know for a fact that Diablo III sucks, bla bla bla conspiracy theory”

    #20 3 years ago
  21. jacobvandy

    @6 I was referring to everything Blizzard is changing about the gameplay. And that they’re designing it for consoles, because they’ve all but officially announced they will be bringing it there. They’ve seriously said “it plays better with a controller.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be playing both, but to say Diablo 3 makes Torchlight 2 obsolete is just the dumbest statement of the year.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. DSB

    @21 Well I’ve actually played the beta, and I don’t really see where the console design shines through. It plays pretty much the same it always has, and I didn’t feel any need to use a gamepad.

    And Torchlight isn’t on consoles? That’s news to me.

    I don’t know that anyone has said that Torchlight 2 was somehow obsolete. I just think it’s odd that a lot of the preemptive arguments against Diablo III (in terms of gameplay) are also true for Torchlight 2.

    They are different games, and they are going to play differently, but I don’t see how it’s possible to put one definitively ahead of the other, unless you’re purely looking at systems.

    The systems for Diablo III aren’t as good, but comparing to Ubisofts DRM is like comparing Steam to Origin. One has functionality, ease of use and reliability. The other does not.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. OwningXylophone

    @ 19

    but I can’t help but wonder why those who are looking forward to T2 so much get so defensive when someone speaks glowingly of Diablo 3? It gives off a vibe that they are Runic Games fans first and foremost, and fans of Torchlight/the action RPG genre second.

    “The problem with Diablo III is that it sucks.”

    Can I have the full final release copy of D3 that you’ve been playing then?

    #23 3 years ago
  24. jacobvandy

    @22 Look at the first handful of posts in this thread… the ones I was replying to before you guys had your lovers’ spat.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. DSB

    @24 It’s just common sense. Do you think Runic have any chance of getting a word in around the time Diablo III launches? They’d be utterly smothered. Blizzard has millions to spend on promoting the game, and they’re going to put it behind a name and a game that everybody knows.

    No one’s saying that Torchlight II isn’t going to be good, or that Diablo III eliminates the need for it. There are a ton of promising hack and slashes coming out. Grim Dawn looks great too.

    Going head to head with a company that is going to spend maybe a hundred times more backing a highly prestigious brandname wouldn’t be smart business. Runic have recognized that themselves in the past.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. GwynbleiddiuM

    TheWulf mate, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed your comments on VG247 but sometimes I feel you get carried away. DSB never said Torchlight was bad or sucks or anything. And the fact that you call him a Blizzard fanboy is just absurd, I can recall many moments that we argued about WoW. If for example you have called me a Blizzard fanboy it might have been true. I’m not trying to defend anyone here but you’re basing your arguments on something that at least I don’t think is true.

    Facts are facts, Runic is a small studio, they never had the budget and resources that Blizzard has while making any of the Torchlight games just as They wont have the resources and the budget in order to build hype for Torchlight II.

    Diablo is a known and loved universe and Torchlight is a new and cute IP, it can never live up to Blizzard’s standards or Diablo fans expectations. Is it going to be a flawless RPG? No, and no one expecting it to be either. Is it going to be entertaining as hell itself, yes, it’ll be.

    All in all the only legit issue that people might have with Diablo III is the constant connectivity, nothing else is remotely close to be a deal breaking experience. Even then I can’t see why people are making such a fuss about it, most of the world has WiFi hot spot and 3G connections everywhere they go, even in public rest rooms. I wonder, in age where everything has some sort of online connectivity, Diablo III online connectivity is suddenly a HUGE problem. I should nag and rant about that, because I live in a shithole of a country with broken internet infrastructure and with no public access to the internet whatsoever. It amazes me that I don’t yet many does.

    #26 3 years ago

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