Torchlight I and Torchlight II developer Runic games, along with the developer of Gigantic, Motiga, have both been affected by Perfect World Entertainment, with the former being completely shut down and the latter being reduced to just a core support staff. The publisher made the announcement by sending out press statements confirming that the reason they’ve shut down the studios was to focus more on games as a service.
Destructoid posted up statements from both Motiga’s CEO and Perfect World, confirming that Runic Games and Motiga are no longer in operation. Perfect World’s statement reads…
“Following the news that Motiga has reduced the staff of its studio, Perfect World Entertainment can confirm that as the publisher of Gigantic, the game will continue to be available on our platforms. A core team of developers remains at Motiga, who will work with us to support the game and its players, including moving full steam ahead with the upcoming November update and future content. We cannot thank everyone enough for their contributions in making Gigantic the outstanding experience it is today.
“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.”
The statement finishes up by saying that the shuttering of both studios had nothing to do with each other, but that they were committed to carrying on with making games.
The news struck a serious chord in the hardcore gaming community where Torchlight fans were obviously angry about Runic’s closing. Torchlight was seen as a decent alternative to Diablo.
It’s not surprising in the least that Perfect World would shut down the studios given that they’ve always focused on free-to-play games. Runic’s last outing was Hob, a niche-based, 3D adventure puzzle game. It didn’t quite catch fire like the Torchlight series, which has millions of copies sold. Instead, Hob has only managed to sell just under 50,000 copies as of the writing of this article, according to Steam Spy.
Motiga, however, had been working on Gigantic for a while back when Microsoft was the publisher. Eventually Perfect World stepped in and forced the game out this past July. The game was like a mash-up of Battleborn and Heroes of the Storm, pretty much making it dead in the water when it did launch as a free-to-play title. At present the game can barely get above 270 concurrent players a day, according to the Steam Charts. The game lost 63% of its players from August to September, and 51% of its player base from September to October.
Perfect World will keep a skeleton crew on Motiga to keep the game operational for now, but don’t expect it to stay alive for much longer.