Riot announces a Valorant dating sim spin-off for PC

You know Valorant – the free-to-play FPS game from League of Legends developer Riot Games, which is all about agents sprinting around blasting and trapping each other. Well, it’s about to get a rather unexpected spin-off in the form of a Valorant dating sim due to launch later this year.

Well, it appears so, anyway. If you’ve looked at a calendar today, you’ll know it’s April 1, so it’s possible this is an expertly crafted bit of fun from the Valorant folks at Riot, but then, given the success of other recent equivalents – like Genshin Impact’s ‘hangouts’ – it’s equally not so hard to believe this is something the studio’s cooking up. The game is called Valorant: Agents of Romance, and its premise stems from League of Legends’ previous Spirit Blossom festival, which included some dating sim-like elements – that is, you could interact with some of League’s champions and forge bonds with them.

The Valorant dating sim will place you in the role of a trainee agent, who’ll build “meaningful relationships” with Valorant’s various existing heroes, “collecting items, going on dates, and maybe even saving the world in the process,” as a press release explains.

Here are a few images from the work-in-progress dating sim to give you an idea of its flavour:

“We’ve been looking into ways to expand and explore the Valorant universe, even prior to launch, and when we landed on a dating sim, it just made sense,” says executive producer Anna Donlon. “We believe that everyone can relate to and enjoy the Agents of Valorant, whether they’re tac-shooter players or dating sim players.”

“It’s kind of funny. At first, we wanted to launch Agents of Romance as a game mode in Valorant, but it started to take on a life of its own,” said Joe Ziegler, game director of Valorant and Valorant: Agents of Romance. “I don’t remember who suggested it, but at some point we just said, ‘Screw it. Let’s make this a whole game.'”

It’s a pretty unexpected announcement, especially given its arrival on this most hallowed of comedic holidays. Or, perhaps the game is entirely real and possibly is an April Fools’ joke in itself. But then a dating sim featuring the shooter’s cast of characters also sounds pretty neat, and Riot’s already made it known that it’s looking to create more games in its rich universes. For example, we know there’s a League of Legends MMO, tabletop game called Tellstones, and single-player RPG game called Ruined King: A League of Legends Story on the way, along with possible others that might stem from its indie publishing label Riot Forge.

Valorant: Agents of Romance doesn’t have a specific release date, but is due to arrive on PC sometime this year.

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