Runic’s devs talk the PC gaming industry

You may not be too familiar with Runic Games, but some of the developers there are some of the key players in the development of the first two Diablo games. Currently, they’re working on a new action RPG in a similar vein called Torchlight, which will be available this Tuesday for a scant $20.

Naturally, in getting buzz about their game going, the company’s co-founders Max Schaefer and Travis Baldree have been doing some interview rounds, and in one of those, expressed their thoughts on why the seemingly diminishing PC gaming crowd. Schaefer makes heavy use of the modifier “too,” saying that companies are “investing too much money into too elaborate projects that are too speculative and too risky.¬†That’s made publishers now super gun-shy to really do anything in the mainstream PC market.”

But, he also talks that there’s clearly an audience, calling attention to the massive success of World of Warcraft and PopCap games. For this line, he calls upon another modifier, “You see the big things like¬†WoW having success and the casual games having success. People have got to kind of come in the middle again and make reasonable projects with reasonable budgets with reasonable amounts of time to give the public something to buy. These are all driven by hits and driven by people wanting to buy games. It’s not that the PC market has gone away; it’s just that the good games that are reasonable hits have gone away.”

Of course… that describes their title to a T, but he has a point. The 90’s PC gaming was a torrent of mid-budget titles that went on to become quite successful, many an adventure game and the original Diablo among them. It would be interesting to see any platform occupy this kind of space again.