Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, has revealed a new fighting game project at EVO.
Yesterday, August 2, was the opening day of the Evolution Championship Series (EVO). As part of the festivities, EVO Co-founder and Riot Employee, Tom Cannon, confirmed that Riot is working on a fighting game, a fact that he jokingly called “The worst kept secret in the universe”. Video of the interview is still up on Twitch.
For those unfamiliar with the rumors milling around about Riot and a fighting game project, in 2016 the League of Legends maker purchased Radiant Entertainment. At that time the only project Radiant was working on was the fighting game Rising Thunder which was playable in a pre-release form. Shortly after the acquisition, Riot revealed that Rising Thunder was canceled and that the Radiant team would be working on a different, unannounced, project. Common speculation has been that Radiant is making a fighting game using characters from the League of Legends roster.
Even in pre-release form, Rising Thunder was an interesting game. The game’s mission statement was to make a fighting game that was accessible to players outside of the fighting game community while still retaining the depth of systems to make it viable as a competitive esport platform. To accomplish this, Rising Thunder featured a simplified control scheme that did not require the same complicated inputs to pull off special moves but also included things like special meters and comeback mechanics. The control scheme was notably well implemented, it even allowed for competitive play with a keyboard which is almost unheard of in fighting games. The fact that all the characters in Rising Thunder were robots also helped with accessibility by removing the possibility for gore and overly sexualized costumes that some find offensive in other fighting games.
Will this new game by Riot live up to the expectations of all the fans disappointed by the cancellation of Rising Thunder?
Stephen Krusel, known as Sven Kroosl to some, has played video and tabletop games since 1987 and has written about the gaming industry since 2008. He has yet to be convinced that Final Fantasy Tactics is not the pinnacle of gaming.