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12/12/20Dev

End of Year: Insights Team

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Hey VALORANT,

Although poring over data is a big part of the Insights team’s job (either from talking to you, through surveys and playtests, or analyzing how you're interacting with the game through in-game data), much of what we do doesn't involve data at all!

A huge chunk of our time is spent working with teams across VALORANT to help them define their goals and figure out what success looks like. We invest that time so that we can have a crystal clear understanding of whether we're doing the right things for you.

The long and short of it is this: Thank you for the opportunities to learn about VALORANT.

One of our favorite examples goes all the way back to Feb. 2019, when we ran our first playtests with players outside of Riot. We’d been developing the game for quite a while, but couldn’t get a read on what was and wasn’t working for you -- the players who we’re making this game for. We spent months working with producers and designers across teams to figure out what was important to us: what we needed to build confidence in, and what we could or would change.

We've traveled near and far to FPS players of various backgrounds, where each stop was a three-day playtest laser focused on the core VALORANT experience. We sought to understand what was and wasn't working, how players' experience evolved over time, and where they saw VALORANT fitting into their gaming lives.

We learned an insane amount, and the way VALORANT launched changed a ton as a result! Here’s just a few examples of things that changed as a result of those players’ feedback:

  • Launched with Competitive mode
  • Launched with an alternative mode (Spike Rush!)
  • Shifted more power into agent abilities
  • Built confidence that players were excited about evolving weapon skins
  • Locked in a new visual direction for Agents via concept testing
  • Came out feeling confident this was a game that could be for all FPS players, not just tac-shooter players

And that was just launch.

Talking to and listening to you didn’t just massively change the way VALORANT launched, but also how it has evolved. This includes continuous balance changes, getting Icebox out months sooner, updates like pick-any-variant and variants in the Battlepass, as well as a ton more.

This past year has been a wild ride, and again, we’re so thankful for everyone who’s taken the time to play and provide their feedback. As for next year, we’ll keep on keeping on, evolving VALORANT based in large part on your feedback. It’s more important than ever as we figure out just where to take this thing.

—Angela Kempf-Luu, Brian Chang, Coleman Palm, Courtney Chan, Joey Messick, Lea Hughes, and Steve Mack

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