Report: League Of Legends Maker Canceled A Smash Bros.-Style Fighter Because Of What Happened To MultiVersus

Image: Warner Bros. Games
Image: Warner Bros. Games

Riot Games has been trying to turn the popularity of League of Legends into an extended universe of multi-genre games for years now. That plan apparently included prototyping a Super Smash Bros.-style game starring League characters called Pool Party, but according to a new report the project was recently canned, due in part to the uphill road faced by MultiVersus.

According to a new report by former Washington Post Launcher editor Mikhail Klimentov on his Patreon, Pool Party was pitched as a Smash Bros.-esque game set in the League of Legends universe that would invest heavily in a competitive esports scene. Once in development, the project took on party game elements and “casual-friendly mechanics,” but Riot Games ultimately decided to walk away, in part because of the perceived failure of MultiVersus, a Warner Bros. crossover fighter that made a massive splash in 2022 but then went offline for months before relaunching to much less fanfare.

Around 80 people were apparently working on Pool Party up until its cancellation in May. Now some have been reassigned while others were laid off. “We always have a number of projects in various phases of R&D, and spinning projects up and down happens multiple times a year,” a spokesperson for Riot told Klimentov.

Riot Games is still working on a 2v2 League of Legends fighting game planned for release in 2025 called 2XKO, and it also has an MMO based in the universe in development. Since the MOBA blew up, there have also been autobattlers and card-based spin-offs, as well RPGs, indie action games, and platformers all based around League characters. Riot Forge, the division responsible for publishing these games developed with outside studios, was shut down earlier this year amid 500 layoffs.

For its part, MultiVersus remains a fun game trapped in a terrible free-to-play grind. There’s nothing stopping Warner Bros. from eventually turning it around but it’s clear its needs a new model to build off of. Still, it would be cool to see more companies take a stab at the platformer fighting genre. Maybe a Dragon Ball Z game could be the one that cracks the Smash Bros. code.

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