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Project L: Is Riot Taking On The Next Genre?

Project L could really heat up the fighting game genre. Source: Riot Games

Riot Games almost always hits the mark with its own projects. It doesn’t matter what game or what production, in the case of the new animated series Arcane on Netflix – is published, the quality and the community feedback is incredibly good. For years, Riot Games has dominated the relatively young MOBA genre with the best League of Legends dog. Over the past few years, more and more titles have been added that provide at least one big exclamation point in their respective areas.

Regardless of whether we are talking about the extremely competitive first person shooter VALORANT, which will have its first major world championship (VALORANT Champions 2021) in December 2021, or the most famous and popular car battle title of all: Teamfight Tactics. The sixth set started there a short time ago, which is very well received by players, but also attracts more viewers through streaming platforms than ever before. There’s also the Legends of Runeterra deck-building card game, the mobile variant of League of Legends Wild Rift, and last but not least other third-party developer titles released via Riot Forge.

The quality of this now really extensive portfolio is so good that Riot Games now has a huge leap of faith among many players, as may have been the case with Blizzard. Here, of course, we are talking about Warcraft III Reforged, Diablo Immortal, and Co.

Project L – Fighting Game: The Next Big Hit Project?

Of course, Riot Games also wants to take advantage of this leap of faith and continue to introduce new, top-quality games. The next big game that Riot Games will likely reveal is the Fighting Game, which is still codenamed “Project L”. An unspecified action role-playing game (Project F) is also in the works. While we are still eagerly awaiting news there, there is actually something to report on Project L.

Plans for their own Riot Games Fighting Games 2019 were first unveiled as part of League of Legends’ 10th anniversary. Six new projects were presented there, some of which have already appeared. The two I just mentioned are yet to come. The following news on Project L comes from the game’s Senior Director and Executive Producer, Tom Cannon. He leads the development together with his brother Tony. The two are also the founders of the EVO Championship Series and the GGPO rollback network code program.

Project L, which doesn’t have a ‘real’ name yet, is a 2D fighting game in the League of Legends universe, Runeterra. There we will also find (and control) numerous characters that we already know from MOBA, TFT or Arcane, among others. Katarina, Jinx, Dariusz, and Ahri have already been shown. The new trailer also features Ekko, who will be featured in a new gameplay alongside the aforementioned.

Development, not as far as you can hope?

A lot has happened since the short 2019 teaser. The game is currently in the R&D phase, where you try out options and maximize the fun. It has already reached a point where this work is paying off and those involved are quite excited about the result so far. With the Undercity Nights held at Riot Games in mind, it’s time to update the community you await.

Cannon makes it clear that the section shown during the holidays is still the so-called “vertical section,” a “vertical section” that is supposed to show how the game should look at the end. But it is far from over. These clips and scenes occur long before development of all content, such as additional characters or settings, is complete.

Riot Games has a lot of work to do in the development of Project L and therefore will not be releasing the game in 2021 or 2022, we were informed by decision makers. This may sound disappointing to waiting fans, but it will most likely pay off in the end. The goal is to create a fighting game that the FGC (Fighting Games Community) can invest heavily in and play for years or even decades. That is precisely why they do not want to rush into anything regarding the publication. “It’s done when it’s done” is a catchphrase we knew from a developer studio in the past that was once highly valued.

Tag equipment and other core items

The Project L news isn’t just about the framework and organization around Riot Games’ fighting game. The developers also talk about the main functions and other content. Consequently, Project L will be based on a tag team style and will allow you to switch between two champions “on the fly” to maximize your tactical possibilities and live your own style of play.

A well-known concept is also adopted regarding the control system. The motto “easy to learn, hard to master” is reused. Control elements can also be found in the new Project L video. As in VALORANT regarding the first person shooter game, Riot Games wants to provide the best network code that can be found in a fighting game. Rollback should serve as the foundation for this, but it should be supplemented by systems like RiotDirect to minimize pinging, among other things. RiotDirect is already being used in VALORANT and League of Legends.

When we can play?

This all sounds very promising and could herald a new era for Fighting Games. But it’s not entirely clear yet when we’ll finally get our hands on Project L. Riot Games is almost done with core features, but there’s still a lot more content to do. While the main game, controls, and artwork are nearly complete, a wide range of champions, stages, menus, user interface, ranking features, and more are still missing. We are currently actively looking for new employees to strengthen the team and help them cope with all these tasks.

All this gives little hope that the initially excluded time window (2021-2022) will continue to be considered. In the second half of 2022, they want to inform the community again with an update. We are excited to see how Project L.

If Riot Games can build on the quality of the previous release in its own portfolio, a next-level fighting game awaits us. Even if not until 2023.

Project L – RiotX Arcane: Epilogue | The right base

The new developer video, which includes new games, controls, character designs, mechanics and more, shows that Project L is on the right footing:

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