Riot Games will review VALORANT voice communication
Toxic and disruptive players are a significant issue in almost every multiplayer game. They can ruin the experience for everyone in the lobby. Games that feature voice communication (voice comms) are susceptible to this issue, especially if it requires communication to succeed. VALORANT voice communication is no different, and players often like ruining the experience for others with toxic behavior.
Game developers in the past have taken steps to combat these players and punish them as needed, including bans and chat restrictions. But this is tough to do, especially when the issue is in the voice communication of a specific game.
Riot announced the privacy update in a new blog post and confirmed the changes are to address disruptive behavior. If a player reports another player for disruptive or toxic voice comms, that information is stored in their account’s registered region to be evaluated. To combat toxic behavior, specifically in voice chat, Riot claims it needs to be able to “analyze voice data.”
It’s no secret voice comms in VALORANT are a significant problem for many players. According to Riot, recording voice comms is the best way to track and resolve this toxic behavior. The developers also assured fans that they will collect the minimum amount of data needed and will be deleted as soon as possible.
This is the latest step Riot has taken to improve the VALORANT experience. Patch 2.05 improved AFK detection and AFK penalties to prevent absent players from ruining matches. Recording voice comms is new territory, but it could significantly improve the gameplay experience if done correctly. But the downsides to privacy and potential safety issues regarding data storage are numerous.
Players must accept the new terms of service if they want to play VALORANT. However, they can disable voice chat to avoid Riot recording them, and there is a new refund policy if players no longer want to play the game.
Riot Games did not announce when it will implement the feature. But Riot will test it in North America before moving to other regions, such as Europe, where they may run into issues relating to GDPR and data protection.