announced ROBLOX is taking its first steps into the future of communication in Metaverse by introducing voice chat.
This comes by opening a feature it calls Spatial Voice to select developers in an invite-only beta.
The platform said: “Roblox content creators are beginning to test the development of experiences with Spatial Voice where conversations can happen in a realistic way, reflecting how we listen and respond to the world around us every day.”
Based on this limited description, it appears that Spatial Voice is trying to mirror the way you carry sounds in the real world and requires you to be close to another player to talk to.
Adding voice chat of any kind to the platform raises concerns about how the company will manage conversations, especially given the platform’s huge popularity with children.
But the platform plans to roll out the feature slowly, giving access first to 5,000 developers, all of whom are 13 or older. The Company may not grant access to children.
“I think we want to take it slow and we want to learn as we go through it,” the platform said. And we might start with the developers. And we’d probably then go to an audience of 13+ and stop there for a while to understand exactly what’s going on before deciding whether to open it up to younger audiences.
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ROBLOX brings voice chatting to its platform
As for moderation, the platform allows users to self-report issues. “Our community is able to self-regulate and report a user who doesn’t adhere to our Community Standards,” she said.
This user may be removed from an experience or lose speaking privileges. And that could be a useful tool for rooting out the bad guys. However, this places the reporting burden on users.
The platform is also planning a voice chat experience that will allow you to chat with your friends wherever they are in Roblox. This experience is similar to what you might be familiar with if you were using Discord, where you can play different games while on the same audio channel.
And this broader voice chat appears to be bolstered by ROBLOX’s acquisition of the Guilded chat platform, which possessed it in August.
Although Roblox’s work on audio predates the acquisition, Guilded lays the foundation for Roblox’s future audio plans.
Adding voice chat could make the platform a more popular place, and help it better compete with other Metaverse games like Fortnite.
And it looks like the company is trying to overcome the challenges that voice chat could bring to the platform by taking this slow approach.
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