Fortnite today rolled out two new features to the game which are aimed towards improving community safety: Voice reporting and age restrictions for UEFN-created islands. Both features roll out to Fortnite players starting today. According to Epic Games, the age ratings won’t just apply to islands, but also to in-game cosmetics, some of which won’t be compatible with certain ratings.
The voice reporting feature allows users to submit audio evidence when they report users who are violating the rules. When the feature is turned on (which it is by default for players under age 18 — older players can customize it to be always on or “off when possible’), it records five minutes of audio on a rolling basis and only the last five minutes can be attached to a report. Epic Games adds in its announcement that it “has no way of accessing any voice chat audio unless voice reporting is on and a participant submits a voice report.”
As for age ratings and restrictions, Epic is using ratings from a user’s regional authority — U.S.-based users get ESRB-style ratings, for example. The rating displays any problematic features of the experience and its target audience. According to Epic: “This is to help parents and players make informed play decisions about the thousands of games and other experiences in Fortnite!” Epic adds that certain cosmetics in Fortnite aren’t compatible with islands rated E or E10+ and can’t be used on those islands.
The age rating feature has not gone down perfectly with players, as some players in the community have pointed out that some of the skins they’ve purchased are now unusable in large parts of the game due to their age restrictions. Epic specified that this applies to about 7% of outfits and that it will adjust this over time: “Over the next year we will enable most of these Outfits to be compatible with all ratings by having them auto-adjust appearance based on the island you want to play.”
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