In the ever-evolving world of gaming, game developers are often looking for ways to create better visual experiences for players. This is especially true since the days of COVID-19; the optimization of audio and voice chat features, in particular, is gaining momentum. As stated by Richard Beare, a lead engineer for GoodbyeWorld Games: “…audio comes into [the Metaverse] massively because 50% or more of immersion in virtual worlds is audio. The believability of the audio has a massive impact on the experience.” Because of this, many game developers and gaming platforms are looking to create more immersive environments where players can better collaborate with others and create meaningful experiences.
Trend: Online Players Muting Others
An important aspect of establishing immersive environments that lead to meaningful connections online is being able to communicate and chat with other players seamlessly. A survey posted on a Resetera forum found that 57.7% of players always mute other players when playing a multiplayer game, and 18.1% sometimes mute others when necessary. Most of the players who choose to mute everyone do so due to negative past experiences with people using harsh words, background noises (feedback from their tv, music, animals, human noises, etc.), poor quality mics, or players talking over each other. Many respondents also discussed how important callouts are to them in ranked gaming, and that needing to mute other players due to these distractions negatively impacted their play as a team.
Why Players Tend to Mute Others
In an article from the National Library of Medicine, it was stated that “noise has different negative effects ranging from interference with cognitive processing to damaging mental and physical health” and “…noise as a sensory stimulus increases arousal which is believed to cause a reduction in the breadth of attention…” In other words, loud noises in the background can lead to distractions and poor performance. This can understandably cause a player to decide to mute another player with a lot of distracting background noise, especially in ranked matches.
Another concept related to background noise is voice clarity. With varying microphone qualities, teammates voices can be too low, too loud, not crisp, or interrupted by background noise. These issues could cause a player to focus too hard on trying to interpret or understand a friend, leading to distractions and poorer performances in the game. With the help of advanced AI-based noise cancellation and voice clarity tools, voices can come through without interruption and they can be heard at levels that are just right; not too loud from players who like to have their mic right up to their mouths, and not too low from those who have it too far away or have poorer quality mics. Audio processing technologies have come a long way in making gaming and related entertainment experiences better and we invite you to try out the Immersitech solutions to experience immersive audio experiences firsthand.