Two key founders of Torchlight series makers Runic Games, Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer, have left the company to form an indie studio called Double Damage Games that will work on products of a smaller scale. Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer announced their departure from Runic Games on the developer's forum, saying the split was "amicable."
"I should say from the outset that this is an amicable departure," Baldree wrote, "that I consider the amazing team at Runic my friends and family, and that it is a privilege that they've let me get away with running the place for this long. I love them all, and the biggest downside to all of this is that I won't get to see them every day. They are the reason that Runic has succeeded, and are the best group of people you could hope to meet or work with."
"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," Baldree added."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."
Runic CEO Max Schaefer (the brother of Erich) wished his former colleagues well.
"As Travis said in his statement, this is a perfectly amicable parting, and we wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavour. I'm sure we'll all be watching and waiting for what they make next. It's sure to be wonderful."
Both Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer worked on Torchlight and Torchlight 2. Prior to that they worked at Hellgate: London studio Flagship Studios. Baldree actually created the spiritual successor to Torchlight while working at Wild Tangent – a wonderful action role-playing game called FATE.
No doubt the duo will get back to creating games like FATE at their newly founded studio.
Runic Games is owned by MMO company Perfect World Entertainment.