Though developer Runic Games shut down in November, the Torchlight action role-playing series blazes on. The series is continuing with a third game, Torchlight Frontiers, which is set in a persistent world and launches on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on a to-be-announced date. Publisher Perfect World Entertainment’s newest studio, Echtra Games, will develop the title under the stewardship of Runic cofounder Max Schaefer.
Torchlight and Torchlight II debuted in 2009 and 2012 respectively, and they have often been compared to Blizzard’s action RPG series Diablo. This isn’t coincidence, as Runic’s cofounders previously helped start Condor (later Blizzard North after it was acquired) and developed Diablo and Diablo II. Schaefer left Runic in 2014 to start Echtra Games, and now he’s teaming up with Perfect World once again on Torchlight Frontiers.
Torchlight II introduced online multiplayer support, and the developer had said it was the precursor for a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in its world. Though Echtra hasn’t stated whether or not it will build Torchlight Frontiers into the much-talked-about Torchlight MMORPG, it does have some elements of one — like a shared world.
“Evolving the Torchlight universe into a shared world has always been a goal for the franchise, and I’m excited that we’re finally able to make it a reality,” said Schaefer in a statement. “Torchlight Frontiers will be a living, breathing universe that will still feel uniquely Torchlight, while we add our own creative spin to the game.”