Riot Games announced Friday that it will begin recording in-game voice chats in the extremely popular free-to-play multiplayer title VALORANT from July 13 to combat the widespread disruptive behavior and toxicity in the game.
This change was initially made official through an updated privacy statement and terms of service released by the company in April 2021.
“We want all of our games to be safe and inclusive for everyone who chooses to play them. We know disruptive behavior when using our voice chat is a concern for many players, and we’re committed to addressing it more effectively Riot Games said in the April 2021 press release.
“In order to take action against players who use voice communications to harass others, use hate speech, or otherwise disrupt your experience, we need to know what those players are saying, which is why we need the ability to analyze voice data in the future it added.
“We are updating our privacy statement to enable us to record and evaluate voice communications when a disruptive behavior report is submitted, starting with VALORANT. If a violation is found, we’ll take action and delete the data when it’s no longer needed for reviews.”
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According to Riot Games, the motive behind the move is to record and evaluate in-game voice communications based on submitted behavioral reports.
From July 13eThe voice evaluation system will be tested exclusively in North America and in English only to help Riot Games’ language model identify violations of the behavior policy that the game developer hopes to launch in beta later this year.
It also said the vote evaluation system would provide them with a way to gather clear evidence that could verify any violations of the conduct policy before taking action against a player. This would also help them share with the players why a particular action led to a penalty.
“Voice evaluation during this period will not be used for disruptive behavior reports. That only starts with the future beta. And we know that before we can even think of extending this tool, we need to make sure it’s effective, and if errors do occur, we have systems in place to make sure we get any false positives (or negatives) can correct. Riot Games said in the announcement on Friday.
“This is brand new technology and there will definitely be growing pains. But the promise of a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone who chooses to play is worth it.”
Riot Games has clarified that when the voice evaluation system is rolled out, it will not actively monitor live game communications. It may only listen to and view voting logs when disruptive voting is reported during the beta period. Once an issue is resolved, all voice chats related to the reported incidents will also be deleted.
The company said if players don’t want their voice chat recorded, they should disable it in their settings.
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In addition to changing VALORANT’s Terms of Service and Privacy Statement to block hate speech and abusive content in voice communications, Riot Games has also implemented a “Muted Words List” that allows players to manually filter words and phrases that they do not want to see in-game.