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The Torchlight MMO is the unofficial name of a massively multiplayer online game that was originally planned by Runic Games and was to be published by Perfect World. However, at the end of development of Torchlight II in 2012, Runic Games has stated they will probably not be developing an MMO in the near future.
Plans for the MMOEdit
Since the founding of Runic Games in 2008, the company's stated goal was to develop an MMO, similar in style to their previous project Mythos. However, first they decided to create Torchlight as a single player game. Runic's CEO Max Schaefer has stated that the decision to release a single player game first was to introduce gamers to the Torchlight universe and to allow the studio to release a published title much sooner than the MMO could have been.
After the release of the first Torchlight, Runic announced they were developing Torchlight II, a sequel which was conceived not only as a way to give the series multiplayer support, but also to give Runic "more experience with making a multiplayer Torchlight." As such, it is an intermediate step toward an MMO.
In 2011, Runic's Travis Baldree and Max Schaefer stated that the company has not yet decided what they will do after the release of Torchlight II and its Mac port. The MMO, a T2 expansion, a T2 Xbox port, or even an entirely new project were all possibilities. In early 2012 Runic developers gave the same official answer, stating that they were concentrating only on finishing Torchlight II, and the company would not decide what to work on next until T2 was finished.
After Torchlight IIEdit
When Torchlight II was released, Runic Games stated that the MMO would probably not be their next project. Reasons cited include the fact that the team would grow tired of creating more massive amounts of Torchlight content after working on Torchlight II for years, and the fact that the MMO industry landscape had changed in the past few years. As of late 2012, Runic stated they were working on supporting T2 and porting it to MacOS; they have not yet officially decided what their next game will be.
In interviews and forum discussions from several years ago, Runic developers stated that the Torchlight MMO was conceived as a free-to-play (F2P) game which would feature an in-game cash shop. This cash shop would sell items and maps which would not affect the balance of gameplay, therefore not giving those who decide to purchase items from the shop an advantage over those who don't.