Riot Games is best known for their League of Legends MOBA. The game is a massive, massive success. One thing that Riot is looking to do now is branch out and they're doing so by picking up fresh new studios... like Radiant Entertainment. They've added the indie studio to their acquisition portfolio and they're closing down Radiant's fighting game in the process.
Fighting game website Shoryuken picked up the news from over on the official Radiant Entertainment website, where Tom and Tony Cannon made the announcement that they had been acquired by Riot Games and that they will be working under the studio giant to continue work on their building block game Stonehearth.
They also announced that their free-to-play fighting game, Rising Thunder, will come to an end on March 18th, next week. This is a huge bit of news that's very surprising because the game has been picking up a steady community and a growing fan base who enjoyed the free-to-play robot fighting game. As noted by Shoryuken, Tony and Tom have ties to EVO, the annual blockbuster fighting game tournament that brings competitive players from all over the world to compete for cash and prestige. Rising Thunder debuted during EVO last year to a lot of fanfare and tons of positive feedback. It seems premature that the game's doors would be closing so soon.
As noted by PC Gamer, the servers for the robot fighting game won't just be closing up on March 18th, they'll be shutdown permanently. On the upside, Radiant has announced that they will be starting work on a brand new project. They don't exactly say what it is but PC Gamer speculates that it may have something to do with a previously announced project by Riot that's been kept under wraps after the company first announced that they were working on a new game.
The acquisition definitely comes clean out of the blue, but with strong ties to the fighting game community and an already established setup for Rising Thunder, it wouldn't be surprising if Riot decided to have Radiant focus on building up another free-to-play fighting game. With Tencent being Riot's parent company and having strong ties to the free-to-play market in China, it would make a lot of sense for them to capitalize on Radiant's fighting game prowess for a global fighting game. And given Riot's huge cash flow from League of Legends, Radiant would have a strong financial backing to make whatever kind of project they can dream up.
Of course, for now we have no idea what new game Radiant will be working on. It could range from anything as derivative as a Minecraft clone to something as unique as an Unreal Engine 4 fighting game. They likely will announce something more concrete later this year, and given their ties to EVO I wouldn't doubt it if they were working on a new fighting game and debuted it during the biggest fighting game eSports event of the year.
In the meantime gamers will just have to speculate on why the makers of League of Legends acquired Radiant Entertainment and why they decided to completely and permanently shut down Rising Thunder.