Ubisoft and Riot Games team up to fight toxicity in video games

Hate toxicity in chat while gaming?

Ubisoft, most popularly known for the Rainbow Six franchise, and Riot Games, the developer of titles like VALORANT and League of Legends, are teaming up to launch an ambitious “Zero Harm in Comms” project to combat harmful content in-game chats.

The two companies said in a common release that this is the first cross-industry research initiative.

Ubisoft x Riot Games to fight toxicity

Ubisoft x Riot Games squad up against the biggest enemy: Toxicity

The Zero Harm in Comms” is essentially a technological partnership between the two companies to enhance artificial intelligence-based solutions to prevent toxicity in the chat.

Sexism, racism, homophobia, and other offensive language are rampant in online gaming. While gaming developers have tools to detect this, they may not be effective every time. Ubisoft and Riot Games said that the only way to fight this effectively was to share data and better work against online trolls.

The shared data will better equip AI-based moderation tools to detect and tackle toxicity in the chat.

“Disruptive player behaviors is an issue that we take very seriously but also one that is very difficult to solve. At Ubisoft, we have been working on concrete measures to ensure safe and enjoyable experiences, but we believe that, by coming together as an industry, we will be able to tackle this issue more effectively,” said Yves Jacquier, Executive Director, Ubisoft La Forge. “Through this technological partnership with Riot Games, we are exploring how to better prevent in-game toxicity as designers of these environments with a direct link to our communities.”

Read also: The never ending fight in tackling players' toxic behavior

The future of the project involves sharing it with the entire industry

Ubisoft and Riot Games are both members of the Fair Play Alliance, a global coalition of gaming companies with the common goal of providing safer and healthy communities to gamers. The initial research from the Zero Hate in Comms project will be used to upgrade both – Riot Games’ and Ubisoft’s AI systems to combat toxicity better.

In the future, though, the companies said that they want this to be a cross-industry project for the benefit of the entire gaming community. The two developers added that they will be sharing all of the learnings with the initial phase of the experiment with the whole industry next year, no matter the outcome.

Besides Ubisoft and Riot Games, Fair to Play houses some of the gaming companies in the world including Roblox, Rovio, Twitch, Supercell, Unity, Facebook Gaming, EA, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, and more. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more devs join this project to effectively fight gaming toxicity.

The combined data from these developers will certainly boost the power of in-game AI to create a safer gaming experience.

“Disruptive behavior isn’t a problem that is unique to games – every company that has an online social platform is working to address this challenging space. That is why we’re committed to working with industry partners like Ubisoft who believe in creating safe communities and fostering positive experiences in online spaces,” said Wesley Kerr, Head of Technology Research at Riot Games. “This project is just an example of the wider commitment and work that we’re doing across Riot to develop systems that create healthy, safe, and inclusive interactions with our games.”