The impending release of Diablo III and the perceived competition it poses for Torchlight II is the main focus of a new interview with Runic's Max Schaefer on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. A little something to get you started:
“People have kind of assumed that there’s this great conflict between these two games, but you know, there’s a lot of first-person shooters that come out that are very similar to each other,” he explained. “There’s room for more than one game out there. I think, as we’ve gone on, the games have gotten even more different than the appeared a long time ago. I mean, we were just at PAX East demoing it right next to the Diablo guys, so we could literally stand there and watch people playing both of them. The character of the games is completely different. It’s not just the tone – it’s the pacing as well.”
“But we’re also looking at Diablo III because they’re gonna bring in millions of new gamers and make them aware of the genre. And we generally don’t have huge marketing budgets, so most of our customers are kind of already in the gaming community. And I think that when you have the fame and budgets and all that of the Diablo people, that’s gonna bring in that many more mass market people into the genre. So I see it as building a bigger audience for us as much as anything.”
And, of course, Diablo’s built up a sizable collection of dark clouds that could potentially rain on its long-awaited parade. No LAN play, no mods, a constant Internet connection requirement, and a real money auction house are the big ones, and Runic’s well aware. It’s basic supply-and-demand, really, and – with full support for mods, offline single-player, and no pesky money spending to worry about – Runic plans to supply what disenfranchised Diablo fans are looking for. Mind you, that’s not to say he’s down on the third coming of the franchise he helped create back in the day.
“I mean, when you have a game that big, there’s gonna be people who find things that they don’t like about it, and – to the extent that we do the things that they like – we’re definitely gonna benefit from that. I mean, I think a little of that goes both ways. People are gonna find things in our game they don’t like and decide to buy Diablo. That’s just the nature of things. I expect, though, that people in general are gonna like Diablo III. Just from what I’ve seen.”