As a special surprise for Valorant’s one-year anniversary, Riot announced Wednesday that a new version of its tactical first-person shooter is coming to mobile platforms.
While the announcement doesn’t include many details about the game, Polygon had the chance to sit down with Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon to talk a little more about the project.
According to Donlon, the move to mobile started with a checklist of questions about what was core to Valorant and whether or not it could be accomplished on phones. If any of the items on the checklist couldn’t be done, then Riot wouldn’t continue the project. The most important thing for the team, according to Donlon, was ensuring that they weren’t delivering a comprised version of Valorant for mobile players. The idea is for the game to not just be a port of Valorant’s PC version to phones but a unique-to-mobile experience.
“We didn’t start out with ‘We’re making Valorant on mobile,’ we started out with ‘Can we make Valorant on mobile?’ with a lot of skepticism,” Donlon said. “For us, whatever you get out of playing on PC, you should get out of playing Valorant on mobile. But we have to recognize that the mobile player need is different.”
Unfortunately, she didn’t go into detail about what those differences are just yet. One thing Donlon stressed, however, was that the mobile version of Valorant won’t affect the PC version.
“The same way that we’re not going to deliver a subpar mobile experience for mobile players, we’re not going to compromise the PC experience either,” she said. “We’re not trying to convert Valorant PC players into Valorant Mobile players or vice versa. […] We’re absolutely just as committed to keeping the PC experience at the quality level it is or higher, and we’re not going to compromise it in order to address the mobile market.”
As part of giving each platform its own best experience, Donlon clarified that Riot has no plans for cross-play between the two versions of the game right now.
One thing Riot does plan to do is create a console version of Valorant. However, for now, that’s just something the team is exploring; it will take a backseat to mobile, which turned out to be a more natural fit for the game.
“Oddly enough, I actually do think the transition to mobile has been slightly easier for us,” Donlon said. “Console’s obvious for FPS, right? […] But this type of game, a tactical shooter, on console is not easy. It’s not easy to have that level of competitive integrity on a platform where the controller is fighting you for that. And we just didn’t want it. […] So we found it took to mobile quicker and it took to mobile easier.”
As for when players will get the chance to play Valorant Mobile, Donlon says, “we’re not confirming dates, but hopefully that’s something we’ll be able to see in year two.”