Rising Thunder (video game)

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Rising Thunder
Rising Thunder cover.png
Developer(s)Radiant Entertainment
Publisher(s)Riot Games
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Rising Thunder was a cancelled free-to-play fighting game developed by Radiant Entertainment. Originally released in alpha state in 2015, the game closed following the acquisition of Radiant Entertainment by Riot Games. A freeware version of the game with available server source code, entitled Community Edition, was released in January 2018.


Rising Thunder was a free-to-play fighting game that used simplified controls, in contrast to most 2D Fighting Games which utilize motion or charge commands. This was to make the game more accessible while still being deep and balanced, being capable of standing up to years of high level competitive play. There were eight buttons in total which consist of three normals, three specials, an Overdrive/Super, and a throw. Each character had a listed fighting style and level of difficulty.[1]

The current build includes training mode, ranked match, and custom match. The game utilizes Tony Cannon's signature GGPO3 as a rollback netcode, making sure that matches are lagless. The game will also auto-detect frames per second.[2] Rising Thunder currently supports native Windows controllers (Xbox 360/Xbox One) as well as PC-compatible arcade sticks.[3] Rising Thunder uses an Elo rating system to determine skill rating and has a level-like system for ranking tiers. The matchmaker juggles the three factors being the players skill rating, location and time spent in queue. This will allow players to experience the best match possible.[4]


The game takes place in the far future where robots will battle it out for supremacy.[5]


Development team Radiant Entertainment announced that they raised $4.5 million to build PC games. Radiant mentioned that Valve's Steam platform has created a central hub for game developers to post their games, attract, and monetize users.[6] Rising Thunder is led by former Capcom and Santa Monica Studio employee Seth Killian with assistance from EVO co-founders Tom and Tony Cannon.

The game was announced in July at Evo 2015 by Radiant Entertainment's Seth Killian. It was confirmed it would utilize Unreal Engine 4 and an updated version of GGPO titled GGPO3.[7]

Rising Thunder had external funding and did not need to be crowdfunded. The game is also going with a free-to-play structure built around selling cosmetics rather than charging people for gameplay. It went live in the form of a "technical alpha" version roughly one week after EVO 2015.[8] Radiant mentioned they were inspired by games like Dota 2, which led them to use the free-to-play concept that most successful eSports games use so that Rising Thunder can have a large and active player base, as well as not needing to pay at all in order to play.[9]

On March 8, 2016, Radiant Entertainment was acquired by League of Legends developer Riot Games. The Cannon brothers Tom and Tony announced that Rising Thunder would be closing down on March 18, 2016 as well as saying that they would be focusing on a new game.[10] On December 18, 2017, it was announced that the game would re-release as Rising Thunder: Community Edition, incorporating local multiplayer and including the server source code for networked matchmaking.[11]


The game is currently in Technical Alpha which was initially released on July 28, 2015 to a limited audience.[12] It was eventually released to the public on August 10, 2015.[13]

The Build 1292 patch fixed performance issues with the User Interface and AMD processors [14] The Build 1341 patch added custom matches and lobbies, allowing people to play with friends.[15][16] The current patch is Build 1391 which had balance changes and bug fixes.[17]


On September 9, well-known streamer ShowDown hosted the very first Rising Thunder tournament in San Francisco, California.[18] Evo 2012 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 champion, Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez was the winner of ShowDown's inaugural tournament utilizing Chel.[19]


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Result Ref.
The Game Awards 2015 Best Fighting Game Nominated [20]


  1. ^ O'Connor, Alice. "Down Right False: One-Button Moves In Rising Thunder". rockpapershotgun.com. Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  2. ^ Hohl, Nathaniel. "Rising Thunder 101". designntrend.com. Design & Trend. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  3. ^ "Technical FAQ". forum.risingthunder.com. Radiant Entertainment. Archived from the original on September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "A Peek Inside the Rising Thunder Match Maker and Ranking Tiers". risingthunder.com. Radiant Entertainment. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Fillari, Alessandro. "Rising Thunder aims to shake up the fighting game scene". destructoid.com. Destructoid. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Chapman, Lizette. "Gaming Studio Radiant Entertainment Raises $4.5 Million to Build PC Games". blogs.wsj.com. WSJ. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  7. ^ PAPADOPOULOS, JOHN. "Rising Thunder Announced – New Free-To-Play Fighting Game Powered By Unreal Engine 4". dsogaming.com. DSOG. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  8. ^ Leone, Matt. "Rising Thunder is a new fighting game from Seth Killian". polygon.com. Polygon. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Minotti, Mike. "Seth Killian discusses Rising Thunder's fighter heresy, online focus, and MOBA inspiration". venturebeat.com. VentureBeat. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Jarvis, Matthew (March 9, 2016). "Riot Games acquires Rising Thunder dev Radiant". Develop. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  11. ^ "Coming in Jan, Rising Thunder: Community Edition". Reddit. December 18, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Rignall, Jaz. "Rising Thunder Technical Alpha Opens". usgamer.net. US Gamer. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  13. ^ https://www.pcgamer.com/the-rising-thunder-technical-alpha-is-now-open-to-all/
  14. ^ Walker, Ian. "Rising Thunder Updated with Performance Improvements, New Moves, and More". shoryuken.com. Shoryuken. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  15. ^ "Build 1341 Patch Notes". risingthunder.com. Radiant Entertainment. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Mejia, Ozzie. "Rising Thunder adds custom matches and lobbies". shacknews.com. Shack News. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  17. ^ "Patch Notes, Build 1391". risingthunder.com. Radiant Entertainment. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  18. ^ Walker, Ian. "ShowDown's Rising Thunder Tournament Streaming Live from San Francisco, California". shoryuken.com. Shoryuken. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  19. ^ Walker, Ian. "Filipino Champ Wins ShowDown's Inaugural Rising Thunder Tournament". shoryuken.com. Shoryuken. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  20. ^ "Nominees | The Game Awards 2015". The Game Awards. Ola Balola. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.