Riot Games announced today plans to start recording voice comms in its popular 5v5 character-based tactical FPS, Valorant, in an effort to curb toxicity. The new policy came to light in a news piece highlighting updates to the Valorant Privacy Notice and Terms of Service published on the game’s official website.
We want all of our games to be safe and inclusive for everyone who chooses to play them. We know disruptive behavior using our voice chat is a concern for a lot of players, and we’re committed to addressing it more effectively. In order for us to take action against players who use voice comms to harass others, use hate speech, or otherwise disrupt your experience, we need to know what those players are saying. Which is why, moving forward we’ll need the ability to analyze voice data.”
Riot explains voice comms will serve as a tool to evaluate violations of the game’s behavioral policy. The developer says it won’t actively listen to Valorant in-game comms but only pull them up to review reports of disruptive behavior logged by players. Once its completed evaluation, Riot Games will remove the data.
Valorant Voice Capture Privacy Concerns
The move naturally raises privacy concerns, but Riot Games assures Valorant players that it will protect voice data as ‘if it were our own.’ The developer says it will ‘collect the absolute minimum data’ necessarily to weed out toxic elements within the Valorant community and continue to improve the experience for players. For those wanting to opt-out of voice data capture, Riot Games notes players can choose to turn off voice comms.
As for when voice evaluation will hit Valorant, Riot Games alludes to the system still being in development, with plans for a test run in North America at an undefined point in the future. Riot will notify players before voice data capture goes live.