Game creation and multiplayer game platform Roblox are set to acquire Helsinki based Finnish start-up Speechly.
Roblox, which announced that it would be adding voice chat to the game two years ago - and has been making strides including the addition of voice clips into their experiences - has undoubtedly acquired Speechly in order to facilitate the better moderation of these interactions in future.
Roblox has previously caught flak for their lacking moderation in areas such as advertising, and voice chat presents a whole new dimension of difficulty to adequately police. By leveraging Speechly's existing experience in AI voice moderation and integration the hope is that it will help support and accelerate voice chat adoption while safeguarding player experiences.
Co-founder of Speechly, Hannes Heikinheimo stated in a blog post, "Safety and civility are foundational to Roblox. We are excited to be joining a company dedicated to safety and civility and to use our AI expertise to evolve traditional methods of moderation to meet the scale, real-time and dynamic needs of a user generated content (UGC) platform. It’s the same focus we have had at Speechly. We share Roblox’s vision for safe and civil immersive communication and bringing more dynamic and nuanced interactivity to the platform through safe and civil voice features."
Just buy moderation
The decision to acquire Speechly is indicative of just how important accelerating the inclusion of full voice-chat is, all the while avoiding the common problems of abuse and anti-social behaviour by players. Especially in a platform like Roblox.
Voice-chat means that players on mobile, who might otherwise find it difficult to promptly write in text-chat will instead be able to user their voice to communicate with other players. By increasing accessibility, the hope is that they'll increase their audience.
It's also a prime example of how Roblox are looking to grow their platform while also issues with moderation that have dogged the game platform.