Riot Games will provide a code of conduct for Valorant’s community, in order to confront harassment and hold the developer “accountable” for oversights (via GameSpot).
In a new blog post, executive producer Anna Donlon expressed how the developer will continue to encourage problematic players to change their ways. In April, female Valorant players (including someone who works on the game) shared their stories of gendered harassment while playing the tactical shooter. In response, Donlon agreed that she doesn’t solo-queue due to the risk of toxicity from other players, and stated that Riot Games is committed to stamping this out of Valorant.
“I’ll be super real here: harassment and bullying in games is not a status quo I’m comfortable accepting,” said Donlon in the new post. “I replied to a colleague’s tweet last month about my fears of solo-queuing, a problem I’ve had for many years of multiplayer gaming. And I’m not alone. We’ve learned to mute others who are harassing us. We’ve learned to mute ourselves in order to keep the peace. And as a result, we have a competitive experience that can feel compromised. We often find ourselves at a disadvantage.”
The executive producer pledged to create a “fair, competitive experience for everyone” without encouraging those affected to isolate themselves from their teams. “This is a very hard space to take on. I can’t solve society, and some of these issues are really, really deeply entrenched,” admitted Donlon. “But what I can say is that Riot takes this seriously—it’s why we established a dedicated “Central Player Dynamics” team to tackle the science and research of what promotes fair teamplay (it’s not always punishments!) and it’s why we formed the Fair Play Alliance with our partners in the gaming space.”
She continued to say that her role as the leader of the Valorant development team lets her choose which issues she and her colleagues will address and in what order. “This is a priority for us, not just in the short-term, but for as long as it takes to reassure a player—any player—that as long as they play to win in Valorant and respect their fellow human beings, they’ll be guaranteed a similar experience in return,” she explained.
A code of conduct for Valorant will be shared “as soon as possible” to “[set] our baseline expectations for how we can build (and yes, punish) this community together.” Emotions may overflow in a competitive space, but this is no excuse to attack fellow players. “We’re not going to ban someone just because they got passionate about winning or losing. But I also know that some experiences can go beyond enthusiasm; sometimes they extend into harassment. That’s what we’re not okay with,” said Donlon.
“We’ll talk when we have more to show but please keep holding us, and me, accountable to keeping up our investment here,” concluded the executive producer.
Valorant will be released for PC in summer 2020.