Summer Game Fest has already built up some strong momentum with announcements for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 and Unreal Engine 5, and now a Thursday morning presentation has confirmed the release date for Valorant, the new hero shooter from Riot Games that has taken Twitch by storm. Surprisingly, the release date is much sooner than the previous "summer 2020" release window.
During the livestream on Thursday, Riot Games revealed that Valorant would be launching for PC on June 2, 2020. This is a few weeks earlier than the summer 2020 window previously given by Riot Games when the game was revealed. During a discussion with Geoff Keighley after the reveal, the developers also teased some key details about the game's launch. While there's no official word on if or when Valorant might land on other platforms, this does inspire hope that it will be released sooner rather than later — especially when leaks from early May claimed that ports for PS4, iOS, and Android were already in development.
When it's released on June 2, Valorant will include everything from the Closed Beta as well as a new hero, new map, and a new game mode. While that's all Riot Games revealed on May 21, the developers teased that the full launch will include even more content that will be revealed at a later date. An even bigger content update is also planned to hit sometime later this summer.
Was June 2 always the release date? "June 2 was the plan before the world changed," Valorant Executive Producer Anna Donlon explained, confirming that Riot has had this date in mind for some time despite the announcement being so close to launch.
"It all kind of came down to how Closed Beta was going to go ... we just figured summer was vague enough that it would give us enough time to react to Closed Beta feedback," she said. While the remote working conditions caused by the Covid-19 put that release date in question, the team still managed to hit it.
The History and Future of Valorant — The game was first teased during a Riot Games Anniversary livestream in October 2019 as Project A but was revealed as Valorant in March 2020. It subsequently entered Closed Beta in April, and a system of giving away keys via Twitch drops allowed the game to gain a lot of traction on Amazon's streaming platform. Riot Games is well-aware that they already have a hit with Valorant, even before the full launch, and this release date announcement confirms the developer has big plans for the title moving forward.
This probably won't be the last we hear from Riot Games as part of Summer Game Fest either. A May 19 report from VentureBeat that claims Sony will be holding a PS5 event in early June also teased that "Riot Games is planning an event for later this summer." Author Jeff Grubb went on to clarify that the event could take place during June or July on Twitter. During that event, we could finally learn about Valorant's summer content drop and any other titles Riot has in the pipeline.
The Inverse Analysis -- This Valorant announcement comes just a day after the launch of Crucible, a hero shooter from Amazon Games that's in direct competition. This reveal will definitely take some attention away from Amazon's new title, which needs to find an audience in order to survive.
Still, Crucible's developers aren't worried about Valorant, and Riot Games doesn't seem to be worried about the competition either. Valorant has been a breakout hit and this presentation shows that the game's momentum won't be slowing down anytime soon.
Valorant is currently in closed beta on PC and will be released on June 2, 2020.