Riot Games adds Vivox voice comms to its latest title

After proven performance in League of Legends, Vivox is giving VALORANT players a strong voice too.

VALORANT: A Unity case study

How does a major studio with a massively popular game ensure reliable player communications in its newest offering? Voice chat is a critical component for any multiplayer game, and Riot knew Vivox voice chat was a winner, having successfully implemented it years ago in League of Legends. When it launched Valorant, a breathtaking tactical-shooter as its next franchise title, Vivox was onboard to help players coordinate their strategies.

  • The challenge

    Integrating voice chat to a guaranteed hit that relies on teamwork for the full experience.

  • Launched

    June 2020

  • Engine

    Unreal Engine 4

  • Platforms

    Microsoft Windows

  • Genre

    Tactical FPS

Staying with the leader

Like most studios, Riot wants to leverage the creativity of its developers to optimize gameplay rather than to grind out back-end services. They had found Vivox easy to integrate and, most importantly, completely reliable. It was a proven solution that used minimal internal overhead to get up and running.

The results

  • Enhanced strategic gameplay with top-quality communications
  • Greater control over voice toxicity with speech-to-text content available for reviews
  • Higher developer productivity by offloading back-end technology

One legend after another

Riot Games has spent more than 10 years growing League of Legends, one of the most popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games ever, with over a 100 million players plus highly popular eSports tournaments.

After six years of development, Riot Games launched its second major free-to-play offering in June 2020 – VALORANT, a futuristic 5v5 tactical FPS.

Positive voices

Screaming, griefing and other unpleasant or even toxic behaviors are unfortunately still rife in online gaming. Riot designed the UI of VALORANT with a simple muting feature and volume controls for individual players. And in case of bad behavior, there’s an easily accessible reporting tool.

Historically, these tools have had limited effectiveness because bad behavior can be difficult to prove after the fact. Vivox is working on giving these tools teeth. Developing an automated tool which utilizes speech-to-text technology to ensure that negative interactions are captured in a format that can easily be reviewed.

Why Vivox?

After years of success with League of Legends, choosing Vivox’s managed communications services for VALORANT was an easy decision for Riot Games. Plenty of other studios agree: Vivox provides communication services for 200-plus game integrations with:

  • Over 120M monthly active users (MAU)
  • 99.9% uptime*
  • Quick integration with SDKs for all major game engines and platforms
  • Fully managed service with 24/7 support
  • Over 15 years of experience managing video games comms
  • Free for up to 5,000 peak concurrent users for indies and testing

*pursuant to SLA

Top voice services for all

For Riot and VALORANT, setting up Vivox was simple, both for the client-side integration and the back-end. When there were questions, Vivox support was immediate and very responsive. The result? Another seamless experience for Riot integrating voice communications. 

“Vivox has many out-of-the-box features, a self-serve developer portal, and a highly responsive tech support team. Using the Vivox core SDKs that integrated smoothly with the client development ecosystem, a small team of developers could build efficiently and focus on the player experience. They had versions with voice chat running smoothly in less than two weeks.” – Jason Sacash, Technical Product Manager (Voice), Riot Games

Playing well together

Riot Games has a reputation for not making players spend big on hardware to be competitive, and both League of Legends and VALORANT run smoothly on a wide range of systems. Vivox is a great fit because its managed services for cross-platform, 3D positional audio and support for both voice and text require minimal overhead, both in implementation and in game performance. This and its affordable scalability make it a great fit for virtually any studio.

“Vivox has been a great partner brainstorming on how to solve some of the challenges with voice in games such as voice toxicity. We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership and investing more in this space.” – Jason Sacash, Technical Product Manager (Voice), Riot Games

A league of their own with Unity

The relationship between Riot and Unity is so strong that they entrusted the latest iterations of League of Legends to the Unity Platform. Legends of Runeterra and League of Legends: Wild Rift are multiplatform titles made with Unity that expand on Riot’s beloved franchise.

Building on Unity enables them to target billions of players across the 20+ platforms currently supported by Unity. Each platform is optimized to ensure the same consistent high-quality experience regardless of where players choose to play. Riot also relied heavily on Unity’s Professional Services team for ongoing support and performance advice. And of course, in-game communications are powered by Vivox.

Jason Sacash, Technical Product Manager (Voice), Riot Games

“Riot Games has used Vivox as a reliable and scalable voice chat solution for League of Legends for a number of years. Extending the Vivox integration for VALORANT was straightforward.” 

Jason Sacash, Technical Product Manager (Voice), Riot Games
Jason Sacash, Technical Product Manager (Voice), Riot Games

“Vivox has been a great partner brainstorming on how to solve voice toxicity. We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership and investing more in this space.”

Jason Sacash, Technical Product Manager (Voice), Riot Games

Add Unity Multiplayer Services to your team

Top studios put gameplay first and aren’t distracted by complex infrastructure issues. Unity’s Multiplayer Services, including Multiplay and Vivox, augment your team with the specialist skills needed to deliver incredible player experiences. Tried and tested at scale, and evolving with industry changes, these solutions keep you ahead of the competition.

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