After keeping the game under wraps for years, Riot is now ready to pull the curtains back on their much-awaited League of Legends fighting game, codenamed “Project L.”
Replying to a question on when fans would get an update about the game, Radiant Entertainment co-founder Tom Cannon, going by his longtime handle “inkblotSRK,” confirmed that a development update on the long-awaited League of Legends fighting game will be coming in late November.
That Riot Games and Radiant are hard at work at a League of Legends-based fighting game was one of the company’s worst-kept secrets. Rumors of its existence started when Riot purchased the latter back in 2016. Founded Tom and Tony Cannon, two of the co-founders behind the annual fighting game mega-tournament Evo, Radiant had been hard at work on its own fighting game, Rising Thunder, before it was acquired.
Even after the purchase, it took three years before Riot finally acknowledged that a League of Legends fighting game was in development. It finally revealed “Project L” during their 10th anniversary live stream in October of 2019. Here, they showed early footage of LoL champions such as Jinx, Katarina, Darius, and Ahri fighting it out in 2D environments.
Since then, both Riot and Radiant have remained mum about the game. A supposed “leak” about an impending online beta test did emerge earlier this year. However, this was quickly quashed by Tom Cannon.
“Glad you’re hype for Project L. The game is on track with many core systems in place, but we still have a ways to go,” he said in a tweet. “Please do not expect a beta (public or private) any time soon, and definitely not this year.”
In a follow-up tweet, Cannon mentioned that they’d reveal more about the game before the year was out—hinting at this Novembers developer update.
What the update will include, however, is as of yet unknown.
What’s the big deal with Project L
Even with the little that’s known about the game—it doesn’t even have a proper title—there’s already a steady stream of excitement and hype surrounding Project L.
Riot’s involvement is seen by many as providing a large financial boost to the fighting game community, with many expecting the company to invest heavily in the competitive scene for Project L similar to how it has for League of Legends and Valorant.
At the same time, the Cannon brothers have long been seen as pioneers within the fighting game community. Tony Cannon was the brainchild behind the GGPO, the online middleware that pioneered the rollback networking that’s become de rigueur for most AAA fighting games, especially during the current pandemic. (Read: Fighting in the time of COVID: the problems of online play and how the community has adapted)
Radiant’s previous attempt at a fighter, Rising Thunder, had been running on the third major revision of GGPO and was designed exclusively with online play in mind. In addition, the game had also experimented with ways to make the genre more accessible to newer players.
Whether or not Project L does live up to its promise is something only time will tell.
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