Upcoming tactical shooter Valorant, developed by Riot Games will not include controversial lootboxes in the game but will follow League of Legends example which is considered a sore spot within the gaming community and rightly so as this addictive form of gambling should not be in video games full stop.
Riot Games wants to replicate the success of it's 10-year-old mega-successful League of Legends business model. The business model of the free-to-play title is also based on LoL and is supposed to ship without lootboxes in mind and we hope it stays that way.
No lootboxes to see here
Gaming has had many titles over the years that's had its fair share of controversy regarding lootboxes (need I remind you of Star Wars Battlefront 2) and with a general acceptance of games having these unneeded features in them, Overwatch and FIFA to name a few, it remains an object of huge criticism as more reports are out about lootboxes and their link to gambling addiction.
So it's a good thing that Valorant will do without lootboxes, right? At least that's what developer Riot Games has confirmed in an interview with Polygon, who recently visited the developer's headquarters in Los Angeles.
Only cosmetic microtransactions in Valorant
Now, this does not mean that players have to do without the customization of the agents completely. Riot Games Executive Producer Anna Donlon revealed that there will be microtransactions in the game but only the ability to unlock cosmetic items only that will not affect gameplay in any way. There is also talk of weapon skins and spray logos that can be sprayed on the walls at any time, similar to CS:GO and Overwatch.
These can be purchased for real money in the in-game store or unlocked by playing the game. Donlon also promises weapon skins that can be upgraded and "a few different progress systems", but no further detail was provided. This we assume will follow the current League of Legends unlock system whereby you can complete challenges to unlock particular skins or emotes.
Are there character skins in Valorant?
According to Donlon, there will be no character skins in Valorant for the planned launch in summer 2020 which is respectable. The reason for this decision is simple: for Riot Games, the competitive basic idea and a successful balancing of the tactical shooter are first and foremost - character skins would make it more difficult to maintain a balance.
All agents, which we have already introduced to you in detail with their abilities, have the same hitboxes and should be immediately recognizable over the whole map. Changing their clothes or colors through skins would, therefore, make it incredibly easy to identify who is who, which would not make the matches fun.
But that doesn't mean that the agents will never get new skins, as Donlon explains:
"I think [character skins] should be designed so that they have no effect on gameplay. They have to be limited. I think there's a way to do that. And that's what we want to find out."
According to rumors, Valorant is to start beta in the coming months with the final release of the F2P shooter planned for summer 2020. In any case, we're looking forward to playing the agents and their skills to the fullest. As always, you can find new information about Valorant on EarlyGame, but if you're struggling for time we've got you covered with it in 60 seconds.