Riot Games has confirmed that from 13th July, it will begin collecting "in-game voice communications" in North America in a bid to combat "disruptive behaviour".
In a brief update on Valorant's offical website, Riot Games explained that as part of its "larger effort to combat disruptive behaviour", the company has updated its Privacy Notice and Terms of Service to allow recording and evaluation of in-game voice communications.
The post stresses that these recordings will only be evaluated when "a report for [negative] behaviour is submitted" and the system will originally kick off in Valorant before - once the "tech [is] in a good enough place" - it will be rolled out to other games.
"Voice evaluation during this period will not be used for disruptive behaviour reports," the blog explains. "That will only begin with the future beta. And we know that before we can even think of expanding this tool, we’ll have to be confident it’s effective, and if mistakes happen, we have systems in place to make sure we can correct any false positives (or negatives for that matter)."
The developer adds that "voice evaluation [will] provide a way to collect clear evidence that could verify any violations of behavioural policies before we can take any action" and enable it to demonstrate to players "why a particular action resulted in a penalty".
For now, the system will only be used to monitor English-language chat in North America, although the post stopped short of clarifying how this may affect other players from across the world who may be in a North American party.
In other Riot news, even as the video games industry becomes more diverse - both the stories told and the people making them - esports has remained a male-dominated world. But slowly that's changing and Riot's Game Changers programme is at the forefront.
"Valorant's competitive community is diverse and incredibly global, with a significant portion of our competitive players being women, and yet the lack of support for these women going pro was, and still is, an obstacle we needed to overcome," Vera Wienken, senior brand manager and VCT Game Changers EMEA lead for Riot Games, told us earlier this year.
"Game Changers exists to combat these obstacles, it exists for women who are here to stay."
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