Torchlight 3 out before Diablo 3, Runic CEO hypothesizes

Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer respectfully believes that a third Torchlight game could be out before Blizzard's Diablo 3 -- a joke we'd made when the second Torchlight was recently announced. The executive tells us that the efficient size of the Runic team, which has a corporate goal to never grow above 40, would have the ability to get out another significantly upgraded sequel before Blizzard's behemoth arrived. Torchlight and its sequel have both had brisk development cycles lasting less than a year.

Schaefer told us, "[Blizzard has] an impossible task. Blizzard can not get away with doing a Torchlight 1. If they put out a single player game, an RPG that's kinda stripped down for $20, people would say, 'What the hell happened to Blizzard?' They don't have that luxury. Everything has to be super epic. More epic than anything that's come before, more epic than World of Warcraft. They have to do that. It puts them in a really tough spot, I don't envy them. It has to be perfect."

Given his deadpan delivery on the subject, we wanted to make sure he was serious about Torchlight's third installment beating the Blizzard behemoth to market, "I really think we will, I'm not joking about it. I'll be the first to buy Diablo 3, I'm a huge fan. I just know what it's like over there."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.