Riot Games dropped a nice little bombshell on everyone today as they revealed that Valorant will be released on June 2nd, 2020. The news came down this morning on Twitter as Executive Producer Anna Donlon and Game Director Joe Zeigler started talking to fans in a video shot from their respective homes. In what started out like other videos and announcements we've heard over the past two months of people announcing games being delayed due to COVID-19 or other complications, they swerved us and revealed the game would be good to go in just a couple of weeks. With the news came a new article on their website in which they go over what they learned from the beta. We have an interesting snippet from the piece below in which they address the anti-cheating system, where they inform players they will be more aggressive towards cheaters at launch. They also address harassment, which has become a big topic ever since women developers playing the game posted their experiences.
We know that wars aren't won overnight—especially when we've taken a very public stance against cheaters who want to win at all costs. But it's also why we have a proprietary anti-cheat detection platform and dedicated team of engineers who will improve things over time.
We haven't been perfect out the gate, but owning our own technology is what lets us be fast and communicative in our development—when you were concerned about Vanguard being on all the time, we put in a feature so you could disable it until needed. When we blocked vulnerable drivers that cheaters were using to smuggle their software in, we also ended up blocking drivers that were helping you monitor the temperature of your computer, so we went back to the drawing board.
At the end of the day, we hope these iterations can be taken as examples of our ongoing conversation: we care about maintaining the integrity of your games, but understand that it's about the journey and the destination.
Now the real question: has Vanguard been effective at tracking and deterring cheaters? Well… yes to the first, and not yet to the second. With Valorant being the grand unveiling of Vanguard, we've gotten a lot of inputs that help us understand what cheats – and forms of cheating – we can effectively deter with the platform. But during closed beta we've held off on deploying the second half of our tech, our auto-banning systems, because we needed this time to understand what to action on, especially when it comes to hardware bans. This will be different at launch.
Up to now, while we've been able to track and understand the inputs by which we identify cheaters, many of our ban waves have been manually reviewed and implemented by our anti-cheat team (and they've still managed to ban thousands so far). Come launch, we will be more aggressive, widespread, and automated in our ability to detect and ban cheaters.