Ex-Runic Games devs establish Monster Squad Games
Seattle-based studio to focus on developing co-op titles, working on new IP
After the closure of Torchlight studio Runic Games last year, a group of former developers have teamed up with a few Gearbox veterans to form a new, Seattle-based studio called Monster Squad Games.
The studio is being led by ex-Runic studio head Marsh Lefler. He is joined by former creative director Patrick Blank, former gameplay director John Dunbar, and former CEO Allen Fong. Blank has brought on board several former colleagues from his days at Gearbox, including former senior artist Wes Parker, bringing the studio to eight developers total.
Monster Squad Studios will focus on using its co-op experience to develop a new IP with a focus on "player satisfaction," according to an interview with PC Gamer.
Lefler said that the team wants to continue supporting its new project after launch, which is in contrast to its past work wth games like Torchlight and Hob.
Studio head Lefler told PC Gamer that, in contrast to the development of Torchlight, the team wants to continue supporting its new game after release to ensure it "grows and evolves".
"We had an old school mindset that once we released [Torchlight], we were done and onto the next project," he said in the interview. "We as a studio were never built to keep that product alive, like Blizzard did with Diablo 3 and Grinding Gear [did with] Path of Exiles. That was an opportunity with the Torchlight series that we missed out on.
"Now, it seems players want games that constantly grow and evolve. Early on, we...realized whatever we were going to make needed to be something we all could work on for years to come with our community, and we all needed to love it."