Announcement : Next Things

travisbaldreetravisbaldree Posts: 1,665 ✭✭✭✭
edited May 2014 in Announcements
I have a little something I'd like to share. It is with the strangest mixture of elation, fondness, fear, and bitter-sweetness that I'm announcing my departure from Runic Games, a company which I co-founded nearly six years ago, and have led as its President and lead engineer ever since.

I should say from the outset that this is an amicable departure, that I consider the amazing team at Runic my friends and family, and that it is a privilege that they've let me get away with running the place for this long. I love them all, and the biggest downside to all of this is that I won't get to see them every day. They are the reason that Runic has succeeded, and are the best group of people you could hope to meet or work with.

I feel more than confident in their ability to continue to excel, drawing on all of their collective talent. I'm excited for the world to see the project they are working on now, and I know it will be spectacular when you get to play it for yourselves.

I'd also like to thank Perfect World, who have been the best partner Runic Games could have hoped to find, and have been unfailingly supportive of us over the years, no matter how many curveballs I have thrown their way. It's my wish that I can maintain a great relationship with you all going forward.

Erich Schaefer, my friend and fellow Runic co-founder, will be departing Runic as well as my equal partner. I'm so gratified to be able to continue working with him.

I'm personally excited - oh, ****, I'm SUPER-STOKED - to be getting back to smaller-scale development, where I can wear many, many hats performing many, many different kinds of tasks. Working within the boundaries of limited means and resources is the best fun I've ever had, and that sort of work satisfies me in a fundamental way - I can't wait to be working that way again.

To those of you who have played our games, interacted with us on our forums, met us at trade-shows, and Tweeted/Facebooked/social-media'ed with us over the years, I want to thank you all. You have helped to make this a rewarding journey for me, and I hope the same holds true for you.

April 2nd will be my last day at Runic, as I tie up some last technical tasks for the team, and then it's on to the next thing! I hope to see you all again soon, online, or maybe at one of those trade-shows.

Okay, if this goes on too much longer I'm gonna burst into tears-

Don't be a stranger!



If you're used to emailing me at Runic, in the future, you can get hold of me at

[email protected]


  • Hello Runic community,
    Yes, it's true. Our beloved President and lead key-masher, Travis Baldree, is leaving us, as is Erich Schaefer, my brother and long-time biz partner. As Travis said in his statement, this is a perfectly amicable parting, and we wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavor. I'm sure we'll all be watching and waiting for what they make next. It's sure to be wonderful.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us here at Runic are excited to move on and continue to work on this crazy, cool, completely secret project we've been working on. We're champing at the bit to talk about it, but will wait until we're ready to show it off. Travis' right-hand man for over ten years, Marsh Lefler, has seamlessly moved into the lead chair at Runic, and after we've sent Travis and Erich off in a bourbon-fueled celebration/wake, you'll find that Marsh is more than capable of taking the reins, and the other 20-something Runic members all eager and able to pull the extra weight. Change is scary, but it's often good. And this is healthy for both Runic, and Travis and Erich.

    From all of us at Runic Games, we thank Travis and Erich for the incredible body of work they leave behind, for the legacy that they left with us, and for making Runic Games what it is today. Best of luck to both of them in their new crazy downsizing scheme, but they won't need it. They will do just fine, as they always have. And to all of you out there, thank you for supporting us, and continuing to support us as we move into a future full of unknowns, excitement, adventure, and most of all, great games!

    Best regards,
    Max Schaefer
    CEO, Runic Games
  • travisbaldreetravisbaldree Posts: 1,665 ✭✭✭✭
    Awww, thanks Max! :)
    You guys are going to kick ****.

  • KillmouseKillmouse Posts: 130
    wow, that came suprisingly.... im actually sad now
  • travisbaldreetravisbaldree Posts: 1,665 ✭✭✭✭
    Don't be sad :) This just means TWO cool games being made!
  • Even as I don't know you guys, one thing I do know... you all made a game that I was hoping for a long time!!

    Torchlight is what I always wanted in a rpg game!

    I wish all of you wonderful things on this new journey and for the rest of the team, keep up the good work!! :lol:

    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I'm from Brazil and still learning :roll:
  • SerkevanSerkevan Posts: 1,586
    Hey there, I just wanted to wish both parties the best of luck with your respective projects... and they better be as good as the last ones, **** it!

    Seriously, this came out of left field, but I am pretty certain both Runic and Travis and Erich's new thing are going to turn out good. Once again, best of luck and thanks for everything. Not only did you make amazing games, the community built around them is awesome.
  • EtriganEtrigan Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Even though this is sad news to hear, I wish you well and good luck in your future endeavors.

    Thank you to the both of you for everything you guys have done for the Torchlight franchise, you guys have been amazing.

    And to the current Runic Games developers, keep up the great work you guys are currently doing and beyond.
  • greenwizard88greenwizard88 Posts: 141 ✭✭
    Good luck on your future endeavors!

    btw, what are they? :D
    R.i.P. HGL Servers, Halloween 2007 - January 2009
  • I would like to first say a big, Big, BIG THANK YOU for the games you have made, from Fate to Torchlight 2(Travis) and Diablo to Torchlight 2(Erich). These games have provided me with years of entertainment and enjoyment. I wish you two luck in your next company and look forward to what's next, both here at Runic, and where the two of you land. Good luck guys
  • RustyRusty Posts: 1,640
    Good luck to you Travis and Erich! I look forward to both games from both teams. Update us with your new endeavors and digs! Thank you so much for being accessible, grounded, and lighthearted with all that happens here in the forums.

    As for the rest of Runic, keep up the good work! Love you guys and the work you do!
  • RnFRnF Posts: 944 ✭✭
    Wow, this is crazy and exciting!

    Thank you Travis and Erich for you part in the Torchlight series. They are both great games and wouldn't have been possible with out either of you. Good luck on your next project. I am excited to find out what you have up your sleeves.

    I think Runic is being left in good hands, and I can't wait to see what's next!

    We now have two awesome game developers!!
  • HeroHero Posts: 226
    Can I apply now for beta tester Travis? ;)

    Any ways the best of luck to both of you, I know you'll create something amazing as usual.
  • GenHavokGenHavok Posts: 34
    Travis and Erich, thanks both of you for your contributions to the crawler genre and Torchlight series itself that made me a fan of a genre I was not actually into much at all back in the 90s.Thanks to the work you guys and the rest of the Runic team have done with the franchise I have gone back to many old games from yesteryear that are similar in genre to the arpg/crawler world. Hope you guys have the best of luck with w/e life calls to/from you. Glad to hear you're going to continue in the media format I love the most.Looking forward to seeing your next projects. Just don't get sucked up by EA in the future XD.
  • Foxzone91Foxzone91 Posts: 11
    You two, besides making/working on amazing games and founded an amazing company, are one of the most respected individuals that I look up to. Good luck in your projects and in your lifes.
  • travisbaldreetravisbaldree Posts: 1,665 ✭✭✭✭
    Thank you everyone for the well-wishes :)
  • AxiosAxios Posts: 88
    I'm very surprised from this news and a little sad. However I wait for other games from Runic and Travis and Erich. Best wishes to all! :)
  • Best wishes to both of you.

    I just hope Runic keeps developing great games like Torchlight/2 :)
  • WitchlampWitchlamp Posts: 470
    Have fun with your next projects. Thanks for everything. :D
  • WebbstreWebbstre Posts: 7,231 ✭✭✭
    Wow, didn't see that coming! Good luck Travis and Erich! I'll try to keep in touch ;)
    Administrator/Former Owner of Runic Games Fansite. Be sure to visit RGF for all your Torchlight series needs![/color] Don't forget to check out ModDrop as a one stop solution for installing and sharing mods easily!
  • StonerMk2StonerMk2 Posts: 109
    Man this is definitely not some thing i expected. But hey, good luck Travis and Erich. Definitely excited to whats coming up next.
  • slackerlifeslackerlife Posts: 67
    Good luck to the both of you. Thank you so much for the Torchlight series, and I can't wait to see what you guys are up to. Here's to hoping Facebook doesn't buy Runic, now! :P
    A community and resource hub for Torchlight modders.
    Mods: Corpselight / Recnam Rising / Torchlight Arena
  • IechinokIechinok Posts: 140
    I don't have much that I can say, but what I will say is that I wish you both the best of luck :D And I just wanted to say that the Torchlight series is one of the best that I've had the privilege of playing. Thank you so much for everything!
    Signature courtesy of Rusty. :D
  • ZiddersZidders Posts: 14,360 ✭✭✭
    "The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
    Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say."
    -The Road Goes Ever On,
    J.R.R. Tolkien

    I thought a song might be the best way to start my post. I picked Tolkien since he pretty much said it best. I know it might be a bit cliche for an old rpg'r like me to say 'Farewell, wherever you fare!" so I won't. I don't plan on saying farewell, anyways since you know I'm going to support both Runic Games AND Travis & Erich. You folks have always been good to me so I'm not about to stop supporting you now.

    I can't wait to see what Runic has in store, and I really can't wait to see what Max & Erich will get up to. 'Double Damage Games' sounds pretty cool.

    You folks rock. Don't ever forget it <3
  • Holy ****. I'm not sure how to feel about this.

    All I can say for sure is, I know I will support whatever games you and Erich put out in the future! Endless free advertising from me.
  • GbrownGbrown Posts: 423 ✭✭✭✭
    Personally, the only sad part about this is we don't get to work with Travis and Erich.
    They're going to go make fun stuff. We're currently making something I'm excited about and proud to be a part of. You're all going to get more fun games to play. Travis gets to focus on what he wants to do. Erich gets to do Erichy things.

    I'm going to miss working directly with Travis. Travis is family and I wouldn't be where I am today without him, but this is all for the best. We've had a couple of weeks to figure out how we want Runic go from here and I'm happy to say I like where we're going.
  • OmnifasOmnifas Posts: 3,442 ✭✭✭
    Wow, I opened the thread seeing "Next Things" thinking the complete opposite, got caught completely off guard and have been in complete silence for the last 25 minutes.

    You guys have my support and best wishes in whatever you do. I can't wait to see what Runic has in store for us and also what Travis and Erich has in store. You guys are simply the best.

    Let your business be popular and prosperous.
  • branbran Posts: 359
    Although almost every road tend to branch off to smaller roads, i hoped you guys would stay longer on the runic games highway.
    Thank you for being part of making two incredible games.

    Only the best for your futures!
    - Clouddancer Mod
    - currently working on: "The Gloom"-Mod - fiendish stuff including the Igniter Demon class
    "Never sweet the kiss of cold steel..." (bal sagoth)
    painting stuff - my gallery:
  • Good luck misters.

    I am curious if you are going to make another game, can't wait! :mrgreen:
  • Best to both of you! You helped create a game for the ages! And I can't wait to see Runic's next game!
  • SimonSaysBakaSimonSaysBaka Posts: 648 ✭✭
    Good luck you two, hope to see more awezome stuff from you both in the future.

    May the Cratzard watch over you both, Cheers!
    I like Cake!
This discussion has been closed.