Perfect World is shutting down Runic Games and laying off employees at Motiga Games. Runic made the torchlight dungeon-crawling role-playing adventures before releasing the Hob action game in September. Motiga is working on the Gigantic multiplayer online battle arena.
The publisher isn’t shutting down Gigantic, but it is only keeping support staff to keep it up and running. Runic, however, is closing down. Hob is a solo experience, and Perfect World explained that it wants to move away from that and shift even more into online connected games, such as its Dungeons & Dragons-based Neverwinter MMO from Cryptic Studios.
Runic Games debuted in 2008, and two of its cofounders were Max and Erich Schaefer, who also helped launch Blizzard North and the action-role-playing game Diablo. Another cofounder was Travis Baldree, one of the creators of Fate (another Diablo-like game). The studio’s first game was Torchlight, a well-received hack-‘n’-slasher in the spirit of Diablo. It released Torchlight II in 2012.
Baldree and the Schaefers left Runic in 2014 to form Double Damage Games, which launched the space combat and trading sim Rebel Galaxy in 2015.
Here’s Perfect World’s full statement”
“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 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.”