This week, China-based publisher Perfect World has shut down Runic Games, the developer of the action-RPG Torchlight. According to a report by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, the company is also laying off most of the Motiga staff. Motiga was a Seattle-based developer studio responsible for the PC hero shooter Gigantic.
In a statement by Perfect World, the company said that it will continue to sell Runic’s games, and that the decision to shut the studio down was a continued focus on online games as a service:
Perfect World Entertainment recently closed the Seattle office of Runic Games as part of the company’s continued strategy to focus on online games as a service. We’re grateful to the team for all of their hard work bringing incredible experiences like Torchlight, Torchlight II and Hob to life. Runic Games will remain a part of Perfect World Entertainment’s portfolio of studios, and its games will continue to be available to players, as we stay committed to supporting and growing Runic Games’ beloved franchises.
In a statement by Runic, Marsh Lefler – the Studio Head for the company – confirmed the closing and posted a brief message on the Runic Games website regarding the closure:
It’s been over nine years since a rag-tag team of 17 developers helped open Runic Games. We’ve been so lucky for the community that has supported us and made us successful. Thanks to that support, we have had the chance to meet and work with the best people in the world. Our team here at Runic has released three successful games, and over that time we have seen many changes; team members got married, kids were born, but the most important thing is that we have become a family.
I’m sorry to say that today will be Runic’s last day open. Our focus is on our family here, and helping them find a new place to call home. If you are in games and looking for some of the best talent in the industry, please email [email protected]
For those that love the Torchlight series, there will be some news coming. And for all our fans, our community and multiplayer services will keep running even after the studio’s lights go off.
It’s a sad day when any studio is shut down, but it’s probably doubly disappointing to see two groups of developers lose massive jobs in the same day. One can only hope that those affected by the layoffs can land on their feet sometime soon.
Torchlight is available now.