Radiant Entertainment Acquired by Riot Games, Rising Thunder Canceled

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Goodbye, Vlad, my big beautiful robot. My precious Russian boy who I am proud of.

In a surprising move, League of Legends developer Riot Games has announced that the company has acquired Radiant Entertainment, the development studio behind fighting game Rising Thunder, sandbox fantasy sim Stonehearth, and the standard-setting GGPO network code.

Radiant’s chief executives, Tony and Tom Cannon, issued a statement about this acquisition and about the state of the studios’ current projects, and it’s mostly good news. Stonehearth (which was successfully Kickstarted back in 2013 and is currently in early access) will continue to be developed “full speed ahead.” As for Rising Thunder, the simple to play (and great looking) PC fighting game starring giant robots? Well:

[The Rising Thunder] team will start work on a new game that we’re incredibly excited about. We wish we could say more now, but rest assured you’ll hear more when the time is right. For now, we will be closing the Rising Thunder Alpha on March 18th. Thanks to everyone who participated in the test!

I’m glad that the team behind Rising Thunder is being brought over to Riot, if only because it’s always a bummer when acquisitions lead to mass lay-offs. Still, pour one out for all of those mecha. I’ll never forget your amazing trash talking, Chel.

Riot is one of the most quickly growing game companies on the planet, and so long as League of Legends continues to be the one of the world’s largest games, I don’t see that growth slowing down any time soon. While this specific purchase was surprising, it’s easy to see why it’s a smart move for the company. Radiant has a great deal of both technical and design expertise, with a speciality in competitive games. And while single-player titles like Stonehearth aren’t Riot’s usual bag, it always pays for large businesses to diversify.

I’m very curious about what the Rising Thunder team will be doing next. All I can do is hope that one day they’ll bring back the mechs… and maybe that intuitive keyboard-control scheme, too.

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