Riot Games Exec Says They Didn’t Plan For Valorant to Have Ranked Mode at Launch
Valorant’s Executive Producer Anna Donlon confirmed to the gaming community that they did not plan to launch the game with a competitive ranked mode. Thankfully, they realized early on that the game would definitely need some type of competitive play. This was to appease potential players who like to play games like Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six Siege.
“We thought we could learn a little more about our players before shoving them into ranked play,” Donlon revealed at a recent conference. “The expectation for a competitive queue at launch was really high.”
One of the key features among online shooters is its competitive scene. With that said, Riot Games not planning for a competitive mode for Valorant surprised a huge part of the gaming community. Even Splatoon, which is a kid-friendly online shooter, has its own ranked mode. Valorant not having the said feature would most likely not have been received well by its fans—even if only for a short period of time.
Valorant had a ranked mode in its closed beta. Apparently, Riot Games wanted to see first how people played it before implementing the competitive feature into the game’s full release.
“Honestly, this particular approach to not include ranked mode at launch had huge risks,” Donlon continued. “We were already concerned going into the closed beta that we might not have enough players.”
Riot Games was mainly concerned that “there would not be enough interest” about Valorant going forward. “This lack of interest could cause long queue times,” she added. “And, those long queue times could damage the overall experience.”
Although Valorant launched without ranked mode, the feature was added to the game three weeks later. Riot’s strategy seemed successful since the game reportedly supported 12 million unique players every month in 2021.
“What unites these players is they play games to be the best, to win, to experience competitive victory,” Donlon continued. “We had to move our plans up.”
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