Echtra Games, a sister studio to shuttered Torchlight developer Runic Games, has announced that its planned Torchlight successor won’t be the free-to-play Torchlight Frontiers as originally planned and will instead take the form of a premium, true sequel: Torchlight III.
That shift in name and business model come paired with significant changes within the game itself that bring it more in line with the structure of past Torchlight games.
The resulting changes are detailed in full on the Torchlight III website, but one notable alteration is that a game originally pitched as a “shared, persistent, and dynamically” generated world will now, for the most part, default its play zones to private sessions (though public zones and the option for multiplayer parties will still exist) and offer players the option to play completely offline.
According to the team, the decision to change directions was driven by feedback received during its ongoing closed alpha, as well as conversations with those involved with the project.
“Over the past year, we have gathered massive amounts of feedback from our alpha testers. After reviewing this feedback, discussing with our internal teams, and receiving guidance from our publisher, we determined that this was the best course for the game,” explains a post from the team. “This shift helps bring Torchlight back to its roots and makes it the true sequel to Torchlight I & II that it was always meant to be.”
While Echtra isn’t the studio that first put Torchlight I and Torchlight II out into the world, the project now known as Torchlight III is being helmed by Runic Games co-founder Max Schafer, with a number of ex-Torchlight devs also on board.
As a studio, Runic Games was shut down by its parent company Perfect World back in 2017 shortly after the release of Hob and, according to a statement at the time, due to Perfect World’s want to keep its “focus on online games as a service.”