Riot Games is a very big game studio, especially considering that it only makes one game—League of Legends. In 2016 it acquired Radiant Entertainment, the developer of the canceled fighting game Rising Thunder, which naturally led to speculation that Riot had designs on making a move into the fighting game scene. Today at the annual Evolution Championship Series tournament—better known as Evo—Radiant co-founder Tom Cannon finally confirmed that, yes, it is happening.
"I want to be able to let people in on maybe the worst-kept secret in the universe, which is—I can confirm that we are working on a fighting game for Riot," Cannon said during the Evo Day 1 stream.
"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. As big as things are, we think it has the potential to be bigger. So step one was, we made a little indie fighting game, and we learned a lot there. And at Riot, what we're really trying to do is make something that players here can really be proud of—that everyone here will feel like, yeah, this was made for me."
Cannon said developers have "been in the lab for awhile," but there's still a long way to go, and no sign of a release date at this point, or even a title. "But we do feel like we're making progress, and I felt like it was only appropriate that we sort of reset the conversation and let everybody know that, what you think we're working on, that's actually what we're working on," he said. "When there's more to share, I'll be the first one delivering it."
Rising Thunder was canned when Riot acquired Radiant, but an open-source version called Rising Thunder: Community Edition was released in early 2018 and is available through Reddit or Discord. Evo 2019 began today and runs until April 4.