The co-creator of Diablo I + II wants to redefine the Action RPG genre with the studio’s new project
Moon Beast Productions, the independent games developer founded by industry veterans Peter Hu and Phil Shenk, has announced the appointment of Erich Schaefer to their executive team as Chief Creative Officer. Erich will be leading the creative direction on Moon Beast’s unrevealed Action RPG project, and hopes to revolutionise the genre alongside his long-time collaborators from Blizzard North.
Erich Schaefer previously founded four development studios: Blizzard North, Flagship Studios, Runic Games, and Double Damage Games. He co-created Diablo I and II, the Torchlight and Rebel Galaxy franchises, serving as Creative Director and Lead Designer. He is also responsible for Hellgate: London, but he survived, phoenix-like, and now has unlimited powers.
Erich Schaefer, Chief Creative Officer at Moon Beast Productions
“I’m extremely energized to be teaming up with Peter and Phil again. At this stage in my career, I’m pretty choosey,” said Erich Schaefer, Chief Creative Officer at Moon Beast Productions, “I want to work on projects that are fun and genuinely try to do something different. It’s impressive what the Moon Beast team has built in such a short time. It fired up my imagination with possibilities, and that’s a huge part of why I wanted to come aboard.”
Peter Hu, President and Co-Founder at Moon Beast Productions
“We started Moon Beast to take a fresh look at ARPGs. So much of what we see today is a fairly linear evolution from the original Diablo,” said Peter Hu, President and Co-Founder at Moon Beast Productions. “Going back and reinventing the isometric ARPG genre with Erich is like a dream come true for me. In this short time since we’ve reunited, we’ve generated some of the most incredible ideas and it’s sparked a creative drive that I haven’t truly felt since the Diablo II days.”
Phil Shenk, CEO and Co-Founder at Moon Beast Productions
“Each of us brings a unique perspective and invaluable experience to the table. Erich’s superpower is cutting through the noise to find the heart of the fun. His instincts and skills have been honed through decades of bringing innovation and delight to tens of millions of players worldwide. We’re very honored and excited to be working with Erich again.” said Phil Shenk, CEO and Co-Founder at Moon Beast Productions. “This is the first time we’ve officially said we’re working on an ARPG. I doubt it’s a surprise, given our history, but now we can confirm it. Our mission is to find new ways to make this kind of game more fun for players and more efficient to operate as a service.”
Ahead of the studio’s attendance at GDC 2023, the team is preparing an early prototype to show to select prospective partners.