Back in 2016, League of Legends developer Riot Games acquired Radiant Entertainment, a company that was not only in the midst of developing a fighting game, but was founded by the brains behind the Evo fighting tournaments. The assumption was that Riot had plans to make its mark on the genre, but only now, three years later, have those intentions been confirmed.
When Riot acquired Radiant, it was partway through development of free-to-play fighting game Rising Thunder, created by former Capcom "special combat advisor" Seth Killian. Work on the title ceased almost immediately, with the studio (founded by Tom and Tony Cannon) revealing that the Rising Thunder team would "start work on a new game that we're incredibly excited about". Since then, though, ne'er a word has been shared about the project.
Speaking during the Day 1 stream of the annual Evolution Championship Series tournament (better known as EVO), however, Tom Cannon has finally confirmed what many suspected all along. "I want to be able to let people in on maybe the worst-kept secret in the universe," he said, "We are working on a fighting game for Riot".
Although Cannon offered no specifics on the game itself, he did share some of the team's general goals, and how they relate to the work that Radiant was doing prior to Riot's acquisition. "The reason why we did Rising Thunder in the first place was because we felt like fighting games just deserved to be enjoyed by way more people," he explained, "As big as things are, we think it has the potential to get bigger."
According to Cannon, the team's new fighting game has "been in the lab for a while", and although there's still "a long way to go...we do feel like we're making progress". And while Cannon stressed that the project wouldn't be seeing the light of day for some time, he did promise that, "When there's more to share, I'll be the first one delivering it."