Echtra Games, the developer behind indie hit Torchlight 3 has been acquired by Zynga games. The publisher behind the Facebook hit FarmVille has purchased the studio for an undisclosed sum. Commenting on the acquisition directly, Zynga head honcho Frank Gibeau said that Echtra would “help grow Zynga’s many mobile franchises to PC and console audiences”.
Torchlight 3, to date the studios only release came to our consoles in October last year. According to Steam, “Novastraia is again under threat of invasion. It’s up to you to defend against the Netherim and its allies. Gather your wits and brave the frontier to find fame, glory, and new adventures!”. The game was a little messy on launch, but received a decent reception. As of now reviews remain mixed on the Valve’s platform.
A playful art style that has us thinking of Fable, Torchlight has earned the love of its fanbase
Torchlight is an RPG Dungeon Crawler where the player controls a character in a high fantasy world. It’s obvious why Zynga chose Echtra to work alongside CSR Racing developer NaturalMotion on a “new, yet to be announced RPG for cross-platform play”. Max Schaefer, head of Echtra certainly has the experience having worked on both previous Torchlight games and the Diablo franchise. Gibeau went on to say,
“Max and his team at Echtra Games are responsible for some of the most legendary game properties ever created, and they are experts in the action RPG genre and cross-platform development,” Gibeau said. “This acquisition will be instrumental in growing our iconic licenses and brands from mobile to PCs and consoles, while helping to further expand Zynga’s total addressable market.”
Whether this new game with by Torchlight in name, or a spiritual successor remains to be seen. And with the seemingly endless string of recent acquisitions we may well be running low on Indie teams to buy. Certainly, die hard Torchlight fans may be a little less than impressed to see the game fall into the hands of a developer brought to fame by Facebook. But who are we to judge? Whilst the acquisition fee remains undisclosed, I’m sure no one was complaining at Echtra.
But what do you think? Should big publishers leave our beloved indies alone, or are these acquisitions good for the industry? Let us know your thoughts below, and as ever stay tuned to ABG for all your gaming news.