Could Riot Games finally be earning that last s in their company name? In a recent turn of events, Riot has officially acquired Radiant Entertainment.
Radiant Entertainment first made themselves known with the game Stonehearth and later with Rising Thunder. The independent game development setup was founded by twin brothers Tom and Tony Cannon. Unlike many startups, these two developers actually hail from within the industry. Both Tom and Tony worked for larger companies previously and were able to draw upon their experience to create their own game. Work on Stonehearth is said to have begun a year prior to their 2012 announcement.
Up until September 2013, they worked out of Tom's home (talk about in-house development!). The group was later able to move into their own office, bringing along new recruits Stephanie Dee and Chris Klocheck - and their knowledge of 3D graphics. Shiny!
Early 2015, the team publically announced their work on the free-to-play fighting game Rising Thunder. To make this announcement all the sweeter they revealed that former Capcom employee, Seth Killian, had joined their ranks.
Announced in 2012 after a year of development, Stonehearth is a town building game where you can, as the official website puts it:
Build Your Town. Expand Your World. Fight, Defend, ... and Attack
Stonehearth was made available as early access on June 3rd, 2015 with the following early access blurb:
Why Early Access?
“A core part of our game philosophy is making you, our community, part of the development process. We believe that games are at their best when they're shared with friends. This approach began with our Kickstarter and continued throughout the early Alpha development of Stonehearth. Stonehearth has a passionate and engaged community dedicated to helping us create the best game possible. Moving to Early Access and growing our player community is the next step in our development.
Stonehearth is a sandbox/simulation game, games that typically have very open-ended gameplay. There are many directions we can take the game, and we believe that your opinions are important when fine tuning our gameplay mechanics and ultimately deciding where the game should go next. What do you think?”
Their kickstarter campaign raised over $750,000 and Steam user reviews boasted a Very Positive reception.
Rising Thunder was slated to be a free-to-play fighting game with simplified controls and supported by Unreal Engine 4. With Seth Killian at the helm and no need for kickstarter funding this time around, all signs pointed to victory for this new entry to the fighting game marketplace.
There was a playable technical alpha that made its way out proceeding the EVO 2015 reveal around August of last year. It was also promoted via a tournament hosted by streamer ShowDown.
Yesterday (March 8, 2016), Radiant Entertainment was officially acquired by Riot Games. The official statement reads as follows:
We are delighted to announce that Radiant Entertainment has been acquired by Riot Games. At Riot, our developers will continue their mission of building incredible games that speak to us personally as players. You’re probably wondering what this means for our games.
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.
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!
And more broadly, to everyone who has helped support us by playing Stonehearth and Rising Thunder, backing our Kickstarter, telling your friends, and giving us your feedback: Thank you for helping us make these games as good as they can be. You have been a consistent source of motivation and inspiration for us, and we look forward to continuing to talk and work with you in the future.
- Tom & Tony, on behalf of Team Radiant
It is no secret that Radiant developers are fans of MOBAS. Their open inspirations from DOTA 2 led them to the F2P concept and possibility of eSports presence. It would appear that their goals aligned perfectly with those of Riot Games', too!
As mentioned, Stonehearth will continue on its lifespan with all the support needed of the devs. Rising Thunder, however, has been halted completely in favor of a new game.
Is it possible that Riot Games are finally etching that second mark into the wall of games with their name on it? With the cancellation of Rising Thunder, my bets are on a free-to-play, eSports enabled fighting game. Whatever it is, we here at Fortis wish the team all the luck in the world (though, their track record seems to show they don't need luck to make a success story).
What about you? Do you have any speculation on the mysterious new game? How do you feel about the acquisition? Let us know!