Character skins in an online game are something common, but why haven’t we seen any of them in Valorant? In a recent interview, Riot answered the question.
Valorant has been officially out for three months now and the game is doing really well in its competitive scene. In fact, there’s a Valorant tournament almost every week in at least one of the regions. But wait, what does the competitive scene has to do with agent skins? Nowadays, a lot.
In a recent interview with Dexerto, Riot Games gave some insight on why there have been so many weapon skins so far and not even one for any of the agents:
Agent skins are widely requested within the community, with the likes of Apex Legends seeing great success by maintaining the shape of character models while giving them a fresh lick of paint. Can we expect to see these in Valorant any time soon?
Readability is critical in our game, so skinning Agents is a whole other challenge that we’d need to be extremely thoughtful about if we ever decided to include them. We do not have any status updates to share right now. We know Agent skins are something players have asked for and we want to make them, but we are doing our due diligence in figuring out the best way to execute them.
Agent skins in Valorant is a really complex topic. On one hand, you have people who really want them in our game. On the other hand, you also have a lot of players who are really anxious about Agent skins impacting gameplay and competitive integrity, which is a very valid concern that we share. Either way, when this becomes something we decide to dive into, we want to find the right balance that feels valuable and exciting for players but also adheres to our strict competitive integrity requirements.
Plenty of titles have seen success from cosmetic crossovers, with the likes of Fortnite x Marvel springing to mind. Can we expect to see any crossovers of this nature in Valorant?
We don’t have any plans for crossovers at the moment, but we think it would be a cool idea. Same goes for any crossovers with the League of Legends universe. It’s definitely something we’re interested in doing, but it’s not something we have planned right now. We’re still early in our skin development, so crossovers aren’t something we’ve committed to yet.
Games like Overwatch and CS:GO offer seasonal map reskins for a limited time. Can we expect to see something like this or holiday-specific events in the future?
We currently do not have any plans for seasonal map re-skins. Our Maps team recently shipped a temporary update on Split’s Defender Spawn and Coffee Shop (on A-Site) to highlight the content releases for the Glitchpop skin line and Killjoy. We may continue to do smaller scope updates like that, but do not have any massive map re-skins planned at the moment. With that being said, anything is possible, for the right goals, with enough time and resources.
And finally, given the popularity of the cosmetics we've seen so far, is there a particular theme/skin you've had the most requests for?
We get so many requests for cosmetics that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. If I had to pick, I’d say the majority of the requests are for us to bring back the Reaver skins from Closed Beta (keep in mind this is just over social media, not from surveys). I probably see a comment or Tweet about this at least once per day! Even if we did decide to bring Reaver back, it wouldn't be the exact same as players remember it. Reaver was a work-in-progress; a prototype to see how players would respond to evolving gun skins.
Now that we have a lot more experience making skins for Valorant, we believe that we could create something better than what players experienced back in Closed Beta. Separately, we also get a lot of requests for more guns within existing skin lines, like requests for a Prime Phantom or a Glitchpop Vandal. We haven’t committed to making more guns for those skin lines, but it’s cool that players like the skin lines enough to want even more guns!
TL;DR: Judging by the answers given by the Valorant producers the title is still very early in the development of agent skins. Crossovers are not something they have yet committed to but getting League of Legends skins for some of the agents might be a possibility in the future. While a lot of fans request agent skins in Valorant, Riot are worried that this might break the competitive integrity of the game since some skins could offer an advantage in certain circumstances. Riot are trying to walk the fine line between game balance and nice visuals.
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