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Torchlight Frontiers was supposed to be a free-to-play action RPG by Echtra Games. It was scheduled to release sometime in 2020. Now, it seems like the developer is pivoting a bit with a re-brand. The game is now being called Torchlight 3 and its Echtra Games’ way of getting back to the franchise’s roots.
You don’t often see these dramatic changes on a dime. Normally when a game has a concept and is given a time frame of completion, the developers continue along the same path until that game is complete. Switching things at a moment’s notice is very risky. It changes the dynamic of almost every developmental stage, and subsequently, the release date gets pushed back. Yet, Echtra Games believes this re-branding will do the upcoming installment a lot of good.
As it stands now, Torchlight 3 is set to release on the Steam platform. We don’t know how much it will go for, but it will be interesting to see how fans react to this adjustment. Is paying money worth checking out this upcoming project as opposed to having access to a free title? Possibly.
The developer will just have to work that much harder to justify the price. That might mean trying to go after die-hard Torchlight fans as opposed to catering to a different audience. There are a lot of gamers who loved Torchlight 1 and Torchlight 2. Given that this is a direct sequel, it would make sense that the developer would keep some of the elements that made these games successful. That could be an effective, rewarding strategy.
It seems like Echtra Games relied on its Alpha testers to determine what course of action they should take. They believe keeping the tried and true formula is the best way to move this series forward. If you go back and look at these games, they had a lot of great things going for them. For example, their randomized worlds made exploration and battles all the more unique and immersive. You never really knew what you might find on your quests. What was a given was epic battles featuring some amazing classes.
The multiplayer action in the first two Torchlight games also was a shining aspect that fans love even still to this day. You could join a party and go on epic adventures, much like the World of Warcraft games.
It’s too early to say whether this re-branding will be successful or not, but it’s nice to see Echtra Games trying to deliver a title they know their loyal fans will love. Let’s see where this game ends up.