Runic Games Congratulate the Diablo 3 Team and Reassure Torchlight 2 Fans

With the announcement of the Diablo 3 release date yesterday, Runic Games posted a message of congratulations to Blizzard for getting a final date nailed down. Fans of Torchlight 2 have been eagerly waiting for some news of the TLS release/beta so Runic issued the following statement.

Congratulations to the Diablo III team for announcing a release date! That’s got to be a such a feeling of relief to be on the home stretch. We’re excited to hear the news, and we can’t wait to play.

To our fans:

We know a lot of you are worried about us. We’ve heard what you’re saying, and sure we’ve had similar discussions. 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.

Our commitment is the same today. It doesn’t matter what gets announced, or who gets elected, or if there’s a zombie attack. (Well actually, in a zombie attack we might leave our desks, but only to smash them into weapons.) We believe that the best business model is to do what you love, to give it everything you’ve got, and to make something you’ll be proud of.

There will be unforeseen challenges along the way, no matter what business you’re in. 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. We know we have a lot of fans out there who’ve had a chance to play early builds of Torchlight II at conventions around the world, and are eagerly awaiting the sequel. We want you to have the best darn game we can make. We’re pretty sure that we want this game out more than anyone (not just so that we can resume a normal sleep schedule!) – but we are going to do it right. That’s our commitment to you, and to ourselves.

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.

In another post on the official forums, Runic Travis Baldtree responded to the release announcment which you can finf after the break…

Just because someone says ‘polishing Act 1′, or whatever, doesn’t mean the other acts don’t exist. We roll through the game in waves, linearly, buffing off the rough edges, stitching up holes, and finishing stuff. Extra polish on Act 1 is because that’s what’s going live in the beta/network test, so it is frontloaded.

We aren’t adding any new things, or pushing dates to jam extra features in. More than plenty of features and content for a 20 dollar game are in there. Mostly, our time has lately been consumed with a lot of play at home tests where we deal with the joys of NAT tables, McAfee, router strangeness, and social features related to networking. All very enjoyable. However, we are pretty close to done with those, at which point we will switch back to full-time content polish on remaining assets, and said content polish will go much faster. (While external network test/beta/whatever we call it is running )

If I had my druthers we’d never say a date until 5 days before release. They’d be internal dates only. As far as speculation that we’re biding our time and polishing the doorknobs on the building prior to grand opening – I have no desire to spend a lot of extra months noodling on this as some sort of arty thing – we want it done, and into players’ hands. But it’s big and complicated and making games is hard(tm) as anyone making games will tell you, and that’s why dates suck. Our most public ‘date’ (that wasn’t an errant phrase uttered in an interview ) was for shipping in 2011, and I just didn’t think we were ready ( and am very, very glad we didn’t try to pull the trigger then ).

There’s room enough in the world for more than one Action-RPG. Skyrim came out and it was amazing, GOTY, yadda yadda loved it. Kingdoms of Amalur came out shortly thereafter and did just fine. Hell, if it had sold for twenty bucks, I bet it would have sold even more copies! I am relieved to live in a world where more than one game in a genre can exist at the same time, and that the quality of one product doesn’t invalidate the quality of another.

Current production time on Torchlight 2 ( less 360 build detours ) is approximately 22 months. I’m not prepared to throw in the towel due to the excessive development cycle just yet. I think we need another 14 months to edge into epic territory. ( HUMOR DISCLAIMER – I DID NOT JUST SAY THAT THE GAME WILL TAKE ANOTHER 14 MONTHS. IT WON’T. THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A COMMENT THAT TORCHLIGHT 2 WAS EXPERIENCING AN EPIC DELAY. )

Everyone says they want things early, that you should just ship, that you can patch things later, that they’re sure what you have is fine. This never, ever, ever works out. I like to buy finished things.

We don’t think we’re Blizzard. We don’t have their resources or track record. We just want to make a good game that you will like and feel like you got your money’s worth from, and that we can be happy we made.