Former Titan Quest Devs Return to the PC

Former Titan Quest Devs Return to the PC

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Crate Entertainment, the studio that rose from the ashes of defunct Titan Quest developer Iron Lore, has decided to return to its roots by giving up on console development and creating a new, "thematically darker" action-RPG for the PC.

When Iron Lore fell apart following the release of the action-RPG Titan Quest, ex-lead designer Arthur Bruno and art director Eric Campanella formed Crate Entertainment, with the intention of completing work on the studio's planned next game, a console RPG called Black Legion. Unfortunately, the timing of the venture was, as Bruno told Gamasutra, "Just terrible."

"We were looking for funding on a risky venture at a time when the U.S. was in financial crisis and the world economy was destabilized," Bruno said. "Some of our best prospects in terms of publishers were in the process of massive layoffs and project cancellations."

As a result, Crate decided to forgo console development and move to more familiar territory instead: Creating a new action-RPG for the PC using the Titan Quest engine, licensed from Iron Lore's co-founders. Bruno said the decision was made because PC game development lets Crate stay small and work within a tiny budget, while the advent of digital distribution means smaller niche titles can still be viable.

"We don't need a big publishing deal to sustain us and PC, more so now than ever, presents a lot of opportunity for smaller titles," he said. "Our ability to work out a very reasonable deal for the Iron Lore Engine and toolset was another huge enabler. So we put together a project that we could begin developing without reliance on outside funding."

"I think we've reached a point in the PC market with digital distribution where it is possible for a small developer to be profitable catering to a relatively niche audience," he continued. "Titan Quest did not generate enough early sales for Iron Lore to earn royalties, but I've learned that THQ recovered their investment and even made a small profit off the game. Titan Quest together with the Immortal Throne expansion have purportedly broken a million units sold."

"With no publisher and a very small development budget, if we can even capture 10 percent of [Titan Quest's total] sales, we'll be doing okay," he added, noting that "frequent expansions and optional content" could provide an ongoing revenue stream.

Bruno also seems okay with the idea that Crate's "darker" action-RPG is bound to live in the shadow of Diablo 3, saying that the game might actually benefit from the release of Blizzard's inevitable chart-topper. "I think the anticipated release of Diablo 3 may even act in our favor, so long as we don't release close enough together that we're totally eclipsed," he said. "I think Diablo 3 will help revitalize the action RPG subgenre, and PC gaming in general."

Crate hasn't released any details about the planned new game, but I hope it goes well for them. Titan Quest was a very solid game and given the team's roots and experience with the genre, this new project should be well worth watching.

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Hell yeah. Titan Quest is still one of the best hack'n'slay games out there

Hrm. Good for them. I liked Titan Quest even though it was basically just a Diablo II deja vu. A darker tone would be good. I like how this story runs hand in hand with the one about Brad Wardell's statement about digital distribution revitalizing PC gaming.

Good, Titan Quest was a great game. Can't wait to see what they come up with. And let me be the first to say it...if they start right away, they could probably have their game released before Blizzard finishes developing Diablo 3.

I'm sorry but Titan Quest was just a bland Diablo knockoff. It wasn't even the good kind, it was inferior to D2 in every way. And I don't particularly like D2 to begin with. TQ had boring backgrounds, lack of distinct classes, lack of visual variety when it came to equipment, only one freaking character model, no plot to speak of, gameplay copy/pasted from D2, copious amounts of blandness, etc. It was simply not a good game. So to be quite honest, I don't care if they are coming back to PC or going away to Venezuela for a month-long vacation...

Here's hoping they have secured the rights to Shadowrun or something.

Oh and BTW - PC Gaming FTW. Suck it consoles. =P =D ;D

I didnt try it, was it better then Dungeon Siege 2?

Oh yeah. I'm gonna grab whatever they make: because Titan Quest was one great game.

Well, it did have Scottish/Irish accented Greeks, but hey: IT WAS FUNNY.

Looking forward to this release. Me and my friend enjoyed Titan Quest + Immortal Throne...it wasn't a Diablo knockoff...it took Diablo to another level...

tehroc:
I didnt try it, was it better then Dungeon Siege 2?

No, it wasn't.

Action RPG? I always called those Diablo-esque game dungeon crawlers.

Jandau:

tehroc:
I didnt try it, was it better then Dungeon Siege 2?

No, it wasn't.

Come now better or worse are opinions, not facts. And it was much better that Dungeon Siege 2.

Eric the Orange:

Jandau:

tehroc:
I didnt try it, was it better then Dungeon Siege 2?

No, it wasn't.

Come now better or worse are opinions, not facts. And it was much better that Dungeon Siege 2.

Yes, they are and no, it wasn't.

Jandau:
I'm sorry but Titan Quest was just a bland Diablo knockoff. It wasn't even the good kind, it was inferior to D2 in every way. And I don't particularly like D2 to begin with. TQ had boring backgrounds, lack of distinct classes, lack of visual variety when it came to equipment, only one freaking character model, no plot to speak of, gameplay copy/pasted from D2, copious amounts of blandness, etc. It was simply not a good game. So to be quite honest, I don't care if they are coming back to PC or going away to Venezuela for a month-long vacation...

Maybe it's because I've only played the game with the expansion pack, but some of your points- aren't points.

There are 64 unique, fairly distinct classes, some of the backgrounds dropped my jaw (mostly towards the end of the game, though), a perfectly serviceable plot, and while yes, the gameplay was probably copied from D2, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Maybe I say this only because I've never played D2...

lacktheknack:

Jandau:
I'm sorry but Titan Quest was just a bland Diablo knockoff. It wasn't even the good kind, it was inferior to D2 in every way. And I don't particularly like D2 to begin with. TQ had boring backgrounds, lack of distinct classes, lack of visual variety when it came to equipment, only one freaking character model, no plot to speak of, gameplay copy/pasted from D2, copious amounts of blandness, etc. It was simply not a good game. So to be quite honest, I don't care if they are coming back to PC or going away to Venezuela for a month-long vacation...

Maybe it's because I've only played the game with the expansion pack, but some of your points- aren't points.

There are 64 unique, fairly distinct classes, some of the backgrounds dropped my jaw (mostly towards the end of the game, though), a perfectly serviceable plot, and while yes, the gameplay was probably copied from D2, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Maybe I say this only because I've never played D2...

There are most certainly not 64 classes. There are 8 classes and you get to pick 2. None of the 8 classes come close to having a distinct style and identity as any of the Diablo 2 classes, or for that matter any other proper RPG. Backgrounds are monotonous and usually single-colored. The plot was non-existant compared to D2's beautifully crafted CGI sequences.

And yes, you likely only say all that because you never played D2.

 

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