Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, helped kicked off the Evo Championship 2019 weekend with a bang by announcing the development of a brand new fighting game coming from Radiant Entertainment. Riot Games acquired Radiant in 2016 and the studio, most famous for Stonehearth, has been relatively quiet outside of the cancellation of Rising Thunder – a move that had re-allocated the team to a new, unannounced title that is likely the new game being developed.
Riot has been enjoying diverse success lately thanks to the release of Teamfight Tactic, a game that’s still based out of the League of Legends mythos but occupies the auto chess genre and has been generating tons of views and coverage over on Twitch. Although Teamfight Tactics is “new,” it’s still based on League and was hastily developed during the scramble from most larger developers to join in on the auto chess craze – it’s even run as a mode of League of Legends, so it doesn’t really occupy the same space a totally new IP would. That’s what fans will be expecting from Radiant and Riot when the new fighting game, which doesn’t even have a title yet, releases.
Riot announced the existence of a new fighting game during the opening of Evo 2019, revealing that Radiant Entertainment would be the primary team working on it. Riot did not provide a title for the game or a release date, and Riot’s Tom Cannon suggested that the studio would “be in touch” with fans at a later day – not soon, either, but instead “someday.” Riot won’t even comment on what the game is, even though the developer surely understands that nearly every fan will now be expecting a fighting game based on League of Legends.
The other alternative that makes sense based on the extremely limited information fans have? A follow-up to Rising Thunder, as it was cancelled when Riot acquired Radiant a few years ago. Fans likely shouldn’t expect much more on the upcoming title from Evo 2019, as Riot has been pretty tight-lipped and Cannon’s comments make it sound like the game is a ways away yet.
Perhaps Evo 2020 will be the scene of a more substantial announcement from Riot Games but, for now, it’s interesting just having the knowledge that the studio – infamous for really only having one major title despite a long tenure in the industry – will finally be expanding its portfolio a little beyond League of Legends.
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