League of Legends creators are bringing us two new games after recent acquisition
For years now, Riot Games has been a one-game studio, focusing all efforts on the eSports giant League of Legends. League boasts nearly 67 million players each month, has its own football-style extended professional season, packs stadiums full of fans to watch live events, and has multi-million dollar prize pools for pro tournaments.
Now, seven years after League's 2009 release, Riot has acquired the studio Radiant Entertainment, which has been working on two unreleased games: a robot fighting game, Rising Thunder, and a voxel-based building game, StoneHearth.
StoneHearth, still in early, iterative alpha, will continue "full speed ahead" towards its eventual release with Riot's blessing. In Radiant's announcement blog, the team expressed that the game will release "when it's ready," a statement that reads as a guarantee now that we know Riot will be supporting the team.
Is Riot taking on the fighting game eSport scene next?
Rising Thunder, however, is being benched permanently on March 18th. The team will be working with Riot on a new, yet-unannounced title.
Rising Thunder, Radiant's robo-fighting game is being shut down in favor of a new, mysterious fighting game. Maybe.
Current speculation is that Riot is looking to take their eSports expertise from League of Legends and Radiant co-founders' Tom and Tony Cannon's fighting game background to create a new, competitive fighting game. Before founding Radiant, the Cannons founded EVO, the leading fighting game tournament in the world, and created the GGPO (Good Game Peace Out) software, a middleware solution to remove lag from competitive fighting games.
While this acquisition is surprising, we're not expecting to see many other acquisitions anytime soon. Riot seems to be positioning itself as a major name in game publishing but is looking to do so with a small roster of high-quality, multiplayer games. And that, to us, sounds an awful lot like Riot moving into Blizzard's territory.