Overwatch 2 Is Recording Voice Chats To Stop Abuse

Blizzard will start listening in to voice chat conversations in a bid to curb abuse in Overwatch 2. This comes after many have complained that the community has become more toxic since the release of the sequel, citing the fact that it's now free-to-play as a possible cause.

This change has been introduced in the latest update, with players now being notified that their team voice chat may be recorded to "investigate and verify reports of abusive behaviour." This may also be part of a plan to prevent players from being falsely mass-reported, with Blizzard now able to check what was actually said in chat, rather than rely on other users to explain this.

The implementation of voice chat recording came with the November 17 update, and is further explained in the patch notes. So far, it will only affect those playing on PC, and in certain regions.

Under Overwatch's "Defence Matrix" moderation system, voice chat can now be transcribed if a player is reported.

"Players will now see a notification when entering voice chat for the first time during a play session indicating that voice chat may be recorded. Make sure you report as close to when disruptive behaviour occurred to maximize this feature’s effectiveness," read the patch notes. "Once reported, a temporary audio recording will be used to make a text file transcript through speech-to-text programs."

The explanation continues, seemingly hoping to ease player concerns regarding privacy and how the data will be stored. "No one listens to the temporary audio recording, which is quickly deleted after being transcribed," it reads. "Transcriptions are only made for reports of disruptive behaviour in public voice channels, which includes team and match chat – group party chat is excluded."

It remains to be seen if this new feature can bring down complaints of toxic behaviour in-game. Although considering all the abusive messages shared in text chat too, this transcription software might not necessarily get rid of all the toxic players overnight.

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