League of Legends operator Riot Games has acquired independent development studio Radiant Entertainment. Radiant Entertainment has two titles currently in the works: building simulation Stonehearth and planned free-to-play fighting game Rising Thunder. Stonehearth development will continue, but Rising Thunder has been cancelled for a new project.
"First and foremost, Stonehearth will go on, full speed ahead. We'll continue delivering Alphas at our current pace, with the aim of delivering the final game 'when it's ready.' We'll continue keeping you up to date on our progress through things like our Twitch streams and Desktop Tuesday blog posts," wrote Radiant bosses Tom and Tony Cannon in the acquisition announcement.
"As for Rising Thunder, the 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 permanently closing Rising Thunder on March 18th. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Alpha!"
Working on pure speculation, I can easily see the fusion of what Radiant was building with Rising Thunder and the rather popular characters Riot Games already has in League of Legends. The only thing that was really working against Rising Thunder was the rather boring robotic characters that populated the alpha. The Rising Thunder technical alpha was a solid base to build on and Riot's resources means you can expect something much bigger from that team in the future.
A free-to-play League of Legends fighting game could be a great expansion of Riot Games brand into another competitive e-sports arena. It also helps Riot begin to build something like Blizzard has with its games. A number of various titles that all build on one another, focused around a common infrastructure. (Battle.net in Blizzard's case.) Riot Games is already huge, but this could be the beginning of something different from the studio.