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Post by Dan @ 01:32pm 27/03/14 | 0 Comments
Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer of Torchlight developer Runic Games have announced their departure from the studio they co-founded in 2008, with an amicable farewell forum post from Baldree suggesting that the pair plan to establish a new indie team (thanks Polygon).
I'm personally excited - oh, hell, I'm SUPER-STOKED - to be getting back to smaller-scale development, where I can wear many, many hats performing many, many different kinds of tasks. Working within the boundaries of limited means and resources is the best fun I've ever had, and that sort of work satisfies me in a fundamental way - I can't wait to be working that way again.

To those of you who have played our games, interacted with us on our forums, met us at trade-shows, and Tweeted/Facebooked/social-media'ed with us over the years, I want to thank you all. You have helped to make this a rewarding journey for me, and I hope the same holds true for you.
Despite stressing that the move was amicable and leaving well wishes for both the Runic Team and publisher (and majority stakeholder) Perfect World Entertainment, Baldree doesn't actually explain his motivation for the departure, which presumably indicates some manner of creative differences.

Notably, Runic's third co-founder Max Schaefer -- who was also a co-founder of legendary Diablo creator Blizzard North with his brother Erich -- will not be joining Erich and Travis in the new venture, staying on as Runic's CEO.
Yes, it's true. Our beloved President and lead key-masher, Travis Baldree, is leaving us, as is Erich Schaefer, my brother and long-time biz partner. As Travis said in his statement, this is a perfectly amicable parting, and we wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavor. I'm sure we'll all be watching and waiting for what they make next. It's sure to be wonderful.

Meanwhile, the rest of us here at Runic are excited to move on and continue to work on this crazy, cool, completely secret project we've been working on. We're champing at the bit to talk about it, but will wait until we're ready to show it off. Travis' right-hand man for over ten years, Marsh Lefler, has seamlessly moved into the lead chair at Runic, and after we've sent Travis and Erich off in a bourbon-fueled celebration/wake, you'll find that Marsh is more than capable of taking the reins, and the other 20-something Runic members all eager and able to pull the extra weight. Change is scary, but it's often good. And this is healthy for both Runic, and Travis and Erich.
Since wrapping Torchlight 2, Runic has been working on a new as-yet unannounced project. Responding to the Runic forums community, Baldree consoled "Don't be sad :) This just means TWO cool games being made!".












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