Riot Games seemingly wanted to compete with Smash Bros. Melee

Development of platform fighter was scrapped
Riot Games

Riot Games reportedly worked on its own platform fighter to compete with Smash Bros. Melee, but canceled development of the game in May 2024. According to Mikhail Klimentov, roughly 80 people worked on the project when it was axed with about half of the team receiving the chance to get reassigned to other positions inside the company.

Riot’s platform fighter was apparently codenamed Pool Party and, naturally, was set in the world of League of Legends. Being an experienced organizer of competitive circuits, the company was hoping it could take a slice of Nintendo’s pie, since the Japanese juggernaut is famous for being sometimes indifferent and sometimes hostile to the Smash Bros. scene.

However, it looks like the recent failure of MultiVersus, WB Games’ attempt at making a Smash Bros. Melee competitor, made Riot reconsider the project’s chances of success. Interestingly, the game seems to have started out as a more hardcore-focused experience before changing into a more casual direction.

Obviously, Riot Games already has another fighting game on the way with 2v2 title 2XKO, which is set for a 2025 launch. Though its scope and target audience are different from what a platform fighter would have aimed at, one may question the wisdom of developing titles for two very much related niches at the same time.

Joe Hixson, senior comms director at Riot Games, provided the following statement to Klimentov: “We always have a number of projects in various phases of R&D, and spinning projects up and down happens multiple times a year.”

Earlier this year, Riot Games laid off over 500 employees to cut costs. In this context the studio mentioned that its R&D teams “have a number of projects cooking in various stages” and partly justified the spending cuts by the need to be financially flexible to keep working on such projects.

Marco Wutz


Marco Wutz is a writer from Parkstetten, Germany. He has a degree in Ancient History and a particular love for real-time and turn-based strategy games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Total War, Age of Wonders, Crusader Kings, and Civilization as well as a soft spot for Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. He began covering StarCraft 2 as a writer in 2011 for the largest German community around the game and hosted a live tournament on a stage at gamescom 2014 before he went on to work for Bonjwa, one of the country's biggest Twitch channels. He branched out to write in English in 2015 by joining, the global center of the StarCraft scene run by Team Liquid, which was nominated as the Best Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards in 2017. He worked as a translator on The Crusader Stands Watch, a biography in memory of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, and provided live coverage of many StarCraft 2 events on the social channels of as well as DreamHack, the world's largest gaming festival. From there, he transitioned into writing about the games industry in general after his graduation, joining GLHF, a content agency specializing in video games coverage for media partners across the globe, in 2021. He has also written for NGL.ONE, kicker, ComputerBild, USA Today's ForTheWin, The Sun, Men's Journal, and Parade. Email: