Riot Games is updating its privacy statement to inform players that it will use new tools to reduce toxicity in all of their games. The first game to use these abilities, which will record in-game voice chat when a report is submitted, is the tactical shooter Valorant.
The studio will store audio data for use when players report abusive or abusive behavior. The data is then scanned to see if anything violates Riot Games’ Terms of Service or other policies. If the violation occurs and is deleted when it is no longer required, it will be submitted to the violating player. If there is no disturbing behavior in the recording, the data will also be deleted.
Riot said the new audio testing tools do not include actively processing live in-game sounds. The studio announced that it will only hear the voice when a report is presented. For now, the system will be beta tested in North America before it expands elsewhere in the world. Those concerned about their privacy can always opt for a third-party voice chat app like Discord.
“We are committed to making our games better for everyone who plays,” Riot said. “This is another step towards combating destructive behavior on the board, starting with Valorant. Stay tuned for more from our Central Player Dynamics team.”
These changes are Riot-wide TechCrunch reports, meaning all players in the studio’s games, including League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra, must accept them. It is unclear when other Riot Games games will receive these updates.
Riot Games did not specify how these new sound testing tools will work. The technology needed to detect behavioral violations over voice chat is still under development, according to Weszt Hart, head of player ethics. Hart hinted that it could be based on machine learning or focus on automated voice-to-text transcription.
Hart also explicitly referred to the “pain in voice communications” that prompted Riot to consider a solution to overcome harassing or annoying behavior while playing online games.
“Players suffer a lot in voice communication and this pain takes the form of all kinds of different impairments in behavior and can be quite harmful,” Hart said. “We are aware of this and promised the players to do everything we can in this area.”
In other Valorant news, the game received an update that made some major changes, such as adding a new map, a spectator-like feature called Coach sports yellow, changes to custom game modes, and balance adjustments for various agents.