When I woke up and checked the Classification Board's website this morning, Torchlight 2 wasn't a title I expected to see. But it's there, and it's got a new publisher to boot.
A community manager for Runic Games, Torchlight 2's developer, said two years ago that the studio had no plans to port the action-RPG to consoles. But that could be precisely what's on the cards, with the Australian Classification Board using the day before our national holiday to stamp an M rating on a multi-platform re-release of the game.
Electronic Arts is listed as the publisher and applicant, which marks a change from its original release. Runic Games originally self-published the dungeon brawler on Steam (and later Good Old Games) back in September 2012, and that was only after the game was delayed.
It's interesting to see in light of the most active thread on the Steam discussions, where people are asking whether Torchlight 2 is dead. The last announcement on Runic's website was about their newest IP, Hob, which is launching on consoles as well as PCs.
Torchlight Mobile, however, was announced and a release in 2016 seems highly likely with the official Twitter account encouraging fans to vote in a poll so the game will be released earlier than usual this year.
Hello Fans, Please cast your vote for Torchlight Mobile and maybe the release will come out sooner this year!... https://t.co/c9b8wpkogA
— Torchlight Mobile (@TorchlightM) January 6, 2016
I've reached out to EA's local PR for comment on the Classification Board rating and what plans EA might have for Torchlight 2. I've also reached out to Runic Games to confirm whether Torchlight 2 will be released on consoles -- as is often the case with these multi-platform ratings from the board -- and what improvements the version might have.
As a side note: Torchlight 2 is no longer available for purchase through EA's Origin storefront. That's not much of a problem for consumers given it's still available for purchase on Steam, but the timing is certainly interesting. Whatever happens, we'll keep you posted.
Update (10:32 AM, 28/01): Runic Games got back to me this morning and confirmed that Torchlight 2 won't be getting a console release, and the classification process is simply EA does "to provide global parity [through] their own subscription service". "EA handled shepherding TL2 through the required ratings process in several countries, including Australia and NZ, which is probably why they’re listed as a publisher in those areas," Runic said via e-mail.
"There’s nothing secret going on; we’d be glad to announce it otherwise, but we’ve always said we have no plans for a console port, and that’s still the case, especially as we are working solely on Hob."