Riot Games, known for creating the popular League of Legends, had plans to launch a Super Smash Bros. Melee-inspired project set within the League of Legends universe. However, this project, codenamed ‘Pool Party’, was reportedly cancelled in late May. The cancellation came as a surprise to many, especially considering the success of the Super Smash Bros. series.

According to journalist Mikhail Klimentov, Riot Games decided to cancel the project after a reassessment of consumer appetite for a Smash competitor. The failure of MultiVersus, another attempt at creating a brawler game, may have also influenced Riot’s decision. Despite having approximately 70-80 employees dedicated to the project, Riot executives were spooked by the lack of interest from the gaming community.

Following the cancellation of ‘Pool Party’, Riot Games reassigned half of the team members who were working on the project. Some team members are in the process of reapplying for new positions within the company through the internal job board. This move indicates that Riot Games is shifting its focus away from the brawler genre and onto other projects.

Despite the setback with ‘Pool Party’, Riot Games is continuing work on its new fighter game, 2XKO (formerly known as Project L). This more traditional fighter is scheduled to launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC in 2025. It seems that Riot Games is moving away from the brawler genre and focusing on creating a different type of game for its audience.

The cancellation of Riot’s Super Smash Bros. Melee-inspired project raises questions about the future of brawler games outside of Nintendo. Will any developer ever be able to match the quality and success of the Smash series? The failure of projects like MultiVersus and the cancellation of ‘Pool Party’ suggest that creating a successful brawler game is no easy task. Only time will tell if another company will be able to capture the magic of the Super Smash Bros. series.

Nintendo

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