Valorant's ninth map, Lotus, draws "thematic inspiration" from Indiana Jones - here's why

Lotus map is inspired by Indiana Jones
(Image credit: Riot Games)

Riot Games has unveiled Valorant's ninth map: Lotus.

"Inspired by traditional Indian stepwells, rock-cut architecture and Dravidian style structures", Lotus is described as a three-site map like Haven set in the Western Ghats of Omega Earth’s India. It features new environmental mechanics, including "rotating doors and destructible walls as they navigate this lost city".

"We wanted to explore the theme of grand adventure, mysteries lost to time, and a lost ancient structure," explains Brian Yam, concept art lead. 

"Indiana Jones was one of the thematic inspirations we drew from. Visually, we found the rock-cut architecture fascinating because it evokes a mystical and ancient vibe to the theme. In addition, this also provided a new direction from our existing maps, given that most of our maps are mostly urban or had modern architecture."

It's Valorant's first new map for a while, following on from Pearl, which dropped last June. It will go live as part of Valorant Episode 6 Act 1 on January 10, 2023, alongside an all-new battlepass and ARAXYS skinline. 

"The goal was to create a skinline that embodied the danger, the mystery, and the power of an unknown, possibly hostile, alien race," explains art lead, Stefan Jevremovic.

"We wanted to make something that seemed technologically advanced, yet too dangerous for mankind to wield safely. We wanted to create something sleek but aggressive, advanced but dark in nature."

The battlepass - inspired by New Year, Lunar New Year, and Valentine's Day - features a 9 LIVES classic gun skin, as well as a Shock Heart spray and Folded Wish gun buddy. 

Valorant's former game director Joe Ziegler recently left his role at Riot Games to join Destiny developer Bungie (opens in new tab).

"I am departing with a heart full of gratitude for Riot Games and all of you for the amazing memories we've shared together," Ziegler wrote on Twitter. 

When asked where his next position was taking him, Ziegler added: "Happy to announce my new home is at Bungie working on new stuff that hopefully will one day get to be played by you all." 

Keep up to date with all the best games set to launch next year with our guide to new games 2023 (opens in new tab)

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.