While the Xbox Live Arcade edition of tip-top action-RPG Torchlight has been very successful, developer Runic Games faces serious obstacles with the sequel on Xbox 360. CEO Max Schaefer has told Eurogamer that technical limitations mean Torchlight II would need to be redesigned if it were to be released for the console.
"With Torchlight 2 there is a little more complication as far as just being able to do a straight port, as we did with Torchlight 1," he said. "In all likelihood, if Torchlight 2 gets to the Xbox it would be probably fairly comprehensively redesigned."
Schaefer explained that Runic "managed to shoehorn" the original Torchlight into the Xbox 360's memory limit, "but just barely." He illustrated, "As some people have pointed out, there's a little bit of frame-rate slowdown when it gets super crowded on screen. That's another fact of it not being designed for the system and just being shoehorned onto it."
The more ambitious sequel, then, would be in real trouble. Torchlight II boasts large overworld areas, character customisation, co-op, random events, and other snazzy, memory-consuming new features.
"We would have to be redoing the interface for a console release anyway, just like we did with Torchlight 1, so it would probably make sense to do something more specifically tailored to the Xbox," Schaefer said.
Asked on Twitter whether it'd be worth the effort, Runic minister of culture Wonder Russell responded, "Possibly! That definitely is the big question. Not ruling it out!"
There's certainly financial incentive to bring the sequel over, as Schaefer explained the original was a big hit. "I think it's the number one revenue game on XBLA for the year so far," he said. "We missed out being the top for units sold to Full House Poker by a little bit but they cost less than we do. It was definitely a profitable and valuable experience and we're happy with the results."
Fingers crossed, Xbox 360 fans. As for the PC edition of Torchlight II, Runic hopes to launch this fall. "It's definitely, 100 per cent, for sure this year and not the winter with any luck," Schaefer revealed. "It's coming along really well. We've hit our internal July milestones, so we should be on track for a fall release."