Chinese publisher Perfect World has closed Runic developer Torchlight and stripped down Gigantic creator Motiga, both of which were based in Seattle.
Perfect World says that it will continue to sell Runic’s existing titles (Torchlight, Torchlight II and Hob) while Gigantic will continue under the stewardship of a small handful of staff.
Pertinently, the company has cited a shift to the online ‘games-as-a-service’ model for the move.
“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,” Perfect World said.
“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.
“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.
“The staff reduction at Motiga and the closure of Runic Games Seattle were unrelated. Perfect World Entertainment stands committed to delivering the best massively multiplayer online gameplay experiences to our players.”
Runic studio head Marsh Lefler followed up with a statement of his own: “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. 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.”