Riot’s Ambitious Plans for a Smash Bros-Esque Fighter Ditched After the Decline of MultiVersus

In the bustling arena of game development, Riot Games, known for the captivating universe of League of Legends, ventured into the realm of 2D fighting games aiming to expand its foothold. Their next anticipated title, ‘2XKO’, promises to be an exciting addition to the fighting game genre, scheduled for release next year. Meanwhile, a lesser-known project, codenamed ‘Pool Party’, was brewing in the shadows, hoping to capture the essence of the legendary Smash Bros series with a Riot-flavored twist.

Smash Bros, a hallmark in the fighting game community, is celebrated for its dynamic platforming battles and an expansive roster that crosses over various iconic franchises. Inspired by this formula, Riot Games aspired to craft ‘Pool Party’, a platform fighter leveraging their rich roster of beloved characters from the League of Legends universe and beyond.

However, the winds changed direction for ‘Pool Party’. An investigative piece shed light on Riot’s decision to halt the project in its tracks in May. This decision came on the heels of the lukewarm reception met by Warner Bros’ MultiVersus, another contender in the cross-IP fighting arena that hoped to mirror the success of Nintendo’s flagship brawler but fell short in capturing a lasting audience.

The fate of ‘Pool Party’, which was in the nurturing hands of approximately 80 developers, signifies a cautious step back by Riot Games from introducing a new contender in the Smash Bros-inspired genre. The speculation surrounding the game’s development and subsequent cancellation highlights the volatile nature of video game popularity and market trends. Despite never formally unveiling ‘Pool Party’, the company acknowledged the fluidity of their project pipeline, emphasizing the routine exploration and eventual discontinuation of various ventures throughout the year. This response, while not pinpointing ‘Pool Party’ directly, echoes the reality of game development where not all ideas see the light of day.

Riot’s reluctance to proceed with ‘Pool Party’, despite the potential for a unique blend of platform fighting mechanics and the richness of Riot’s gaming universe, speaks volumes of the challenging landscape for new entries in the video game market, especially in a niche as beloved and saturated as the Smash Bros-style platform fighter.

As Riot Games forges ahead with ‘2XKO’, the gaming community remains on the lookout for what could have been with ‘Pool Party’. The tale of its development and cancellation adds to the myriad “what ifs” in the gaming world, where the balance between innovation and audience reception continues to shape the future of game development.

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