Let’s be perfectly blunt. We all know that online voice chat is, for the most part, a cesspool of some very nasty people. All kinds of derogatory, racist, sexist, and overall horrible stuff is said over voice chat, and most of it without any kind of repercussion. It’s no wonder Nintendo wants to stay far away from traditional voice chat methods!
Blizzard is very well aware of the rough state of voice chat in games, but they’re looking to do something to improve the situation, particularly with the launch of Overwatch 2. That something involves collecting temporary voice recordings of your chat during gameplay.
Blizzard has stated that they’ll be using audio transcriptions with Overwatch 2 in order to squash troublemakers. Audio transcriptions allow Blizzard to collect a temporary voice chat recording of a reported player and automatically transcribe it through speech to text programs. The text file is then analyzed for disruptive behavior by chat review tools. Once the audio recording has been transcribed to text, it’s quickly deleted as the file’s sole purpose is to identify potentially disruptive behavior. The text file is then deleted no later than 30 days after the audio transcription.
This system relies on players reporting disruptive behavior as soon as they encounter it in game because Blizzard does not store voice chat data long term. This means you should report disruptive behavior as it’s occurring in-game to give Blizzard the best chance at detecting, catching, and preventing disruptive players. Your reports matter—player reporting is one of the most effective methods for identifying and actioning disruptive behavior as quickly as possible.