Various Valorant Agents

Valorant, the online multiplayer first-person shooter, launched without ranked mode, and the developers originally intended to keep it that way.

Spotted by The Loadout, in a presentation given by Tencent, the Chinese parent company of Valorant developer Riot Games, it revealed the early development strategy and launch of the popular free-to-play game. In the closed beta it included a ranked mode, but developers wanted to watch how people played before implementing it into the full release.

“Honestly, this particular approach [to not include ranked mode at launch] had huge risks,” Anna Donlon, executive producer of Riot Games, explains. “We were already concerned going into the closed beta that we might not have enough players, that maybe there wouldn’t be enough interest, and that this lack of interest could cause long queue times, and those long queue times could damage the overall experience.”

Valorant Killjoy
Killjoy’s Nanoswarm ability. Credit: Riot Games

Donlon says that Riot wanted to first observe how users played and engaged with the game before introducing a ranked mode. This way it could better understand what elements were needed when it eventually launched. However, following a play test with players of Rainbow Six Siege and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, they all expressed a desire for ranked mode on or near launch.

“The expectation for a competitive queue at launch was really, really high, – what unites these players is they play games to be the best, to win, to experience competitive victory, –  we had to move our plans up.”

Valorant still launched without ranked but was implemented 3 weeks later. The strategy was clearly successful, as Valorant reportedly supported 12million unique players every month in 2021.

In other news, according to the ERSB rating for Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves there will be no user interaction including micro-transactions and voice chat.

The post ‘Valorant’ was originally planned without a ranked mode appeared first on NME.


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