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Published: August 5, 2021

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

  • NetEase is working on a Valorant clone hoping to enter the mobile gaming space first
  • ValorLeaks Twitter shared a 30-second video revealing footage from Project A, the name of the game NetEase has chosen for its mobile title
  • Riot Games used to call Valorant “Project Ares” while in development, making for another similarity between the company’s shooter and NetEase’s upcoming title 

Valorant is getting a worthy if somewhat familiar challenger in the face of NetEase’s cheeky mobile shooter dubbed Project A. 

What Is Project A and Should Riot Be Worried?

It seems like competition in the mobile gaming segment is intensifying as NetEase, one of the biggest Chinese video game companies is entering the fray with a brand new tactical shooter dubbed Project M

Project M is visually similar to Riot Game’s Valorant, the newly-released shooter that dominated headlines in 2020 and continues to build momentum in 2021. Yet, if Valorant has had any plans to debut on mobile, NetEase may be beating Riot Games to the punch.

Another interesting similarity between the games is the fact that Project A could be a reference to Project Ares, Valorant’s own code name, while the game was still in development. 

The news was leaked by ValorLeaks Twitter handle and has shown a 30-second video showing gameplay that is very similar to Valorant. The trailer features shootouts as well as special abilities that are similar to the ones the agents in Valorant can muster to tilt the scales of battle in their favor. 

Valorant Challenged by NetEase Clone 

Visually, the similarities are compelling with the mechanics and abilities used in the video cutting very close to Valorant’s own gameplay. NetEase is also a competitor to Tencent, and the two companies are butting heads on multiple fronts.

Tencent has had to stave off numerous assaults on its intellectual property in the past. It fought Moonton in court for alleging that Mobile Legends: Bang Bang had copied assets from Riot Games’ League of Legends, for example.

Meanwhile, though, Riot is continuing to expand on the handheld gaming front, with Wild Rift and Teamfight Tactics really leaving their mark on the segment. Valorant is also planning to launch on mobile at some point, but NetEase will clearly get an early start.

This doesn’t seem to bother Riot too much as the company has reiterated time and again that it’s happy to continue to develop its games at an organic rate and let its products build up audiences at their own pace. 

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