In what is sure to be sad news for PC gamers everywhere, it looks like Torchlight 2 will be delayed until 2012, and won't be making the release this year that had been hoped for. Delays don't always have to be bad news, and in this case it seems that the development team is making the best decision for all concerned.
After Torchlight surprised fans of dungeon-crawlers by offering about as close to a new Diablo as you can get, Runic Games went from obscurity to spotlight. The ultimate result was the announcement of Torchlight 2, with the team using the momentum of their first release to do everything they had hoped for with the sequel. Specifically, that means bringing multiplayer like the developers had planned, along with follow-up title that the team hopes will improve upon every aspect of the original.
Unfortunately that is a tall order, and one that Runic can't fulfill on the previously-established timeline. In a post on the game's website, Runic's Travis Baldree revealed that the suspicions of fans is true, and that the lack of any release information is due to the game being delayed into next year. As far as reasons go, there's is a good one:
"The first Torchlight was released in record time, but it had plenty of issues that a little more development could have resolved. We didn't have the resources at the time to give Torchlight that treatment. Right at this moment though, we do have those resources for the sequel, and we feel strongly that we should apply them to make this the best game we can make and hopefully one that you'll enjoy and continue to want to play in the future."
Delaying a game to make sure that it launches with as few technical issues as possible isn't a bad idea, since even the highest profile releases of the past two months have run into issues out of the gate. And Runic isn't just planning on releasing a game that will recapture the same enthusiasm as Torchlight, but one that improves on all fronts, which is a serious challenge for even the most accomplished teams.
According to Baldree everything is on track regardless of the delay -and it certainly looks that way - and promises that Torchlight 2 will be worth the wait. All things considered, a few more months to play the vast array of triple-A titles can't hurt Runic's chances:
"We feel pretty safe in saying that if you enjoyed Torchlight at all, this sequel is superior in every respect. Right now our job is to ensure that the quality level is consistent all the way to the end.
"Besides, you're all playing Skyrim right now anyway, aren't you? Or Battlefield 3? Or Uncharted 3? Or Saints Row 3? Or Arkham City? Or Skyward Sword? Or Minecraft? Or Modern Warfare 3? Or Dark Souls? Or Assassin's Creed Revelations?"
Unfortunately delays are becoming more and more common, but the fans in this case will likely give the developers the benefit of the doubt. And considering the amount of content and gameplay that's on the way for a price that's more than affordable, we'll work our way through the games Baldree mentioned before we start to feel impatient.
Torchlight 2 will likely be released in early 2012 for the PC, with a small beta planned before launch.
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