Announcement : Next Things

Announcement : Next Things

Postby travisbaldree » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:11 pm

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, hell, 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
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby MaxSchaefer » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:00 pm

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
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby travisbaldree » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:04 pm

Awww, thanks Max! :)
You guys are going to kick ass.

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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Killmouse » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:22 pm

wow, that came suprisingly.... im actually sad now
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby travisbaldree » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:30 pm

Don't be sad :) This just means TWO cool games being made!
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby wamenslot » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:45 pm

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:
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Serkevan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:54 pm

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, damn 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.
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Etrigan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:56 pm

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.
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby greenwizard88 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:59 pm

Good luck on your future endeavors!

btw, what are they? :D
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby corrosivechains » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:59 pm

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
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Rusty » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:17 pm

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!
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby RnF » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:28 pm

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!!
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Hero » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:29 pm

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.
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby GenHavok » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:29 pm

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.
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Foxzone91 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:42 pm

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.
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby travisbaldree » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:42 pm

Thank you everyone for the well-wishes :)
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Axios » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:52 pm

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! :)
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby gonomodevil » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:03 pm

Best wishes to both of you.

I just hope Runic keeps developing great games like Torchlight/2 :)
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Witchlamp » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:10 pm

Have fun with your next projects. Thanks for everything. :D
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Re: Announcement : Next Things

Postby Webbstre » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:18 pm

Wow, didn't see that coming! Good luck Travis and Erich! I'll try to keep in touch ;)
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Check out our IndieGogo page for cool loot donated by Runic Games!
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