Fortnite will soon support live video chatting using the same framework as the app Houseparty.
Houseparty was acquired by Epic Games in June of 2019 and has been used to run voice chat in Fortnite since then. The inclusion of video chatting brings the innate communications in Fortnite more in line with what the Houseparty app was initially developed to do.
Is video chatting in Fortnite useful?
For most Fortnite players, the video chat feature will be more of a novelty than a necessity, but it is still a useful feature to include.
However, this video chatting software does offer Fortnite a greater range of accessibility. For instance, deaf gamers, who would prefer to use sign language rather than rely on the rudimentary communication options available in-game, would benefit from this addition.
In particular, FaZe Ewok has shown his excitement for the feature in an emoji laden Twitter post, specifically commenting on how much easier communication will be for him.
Even though Fortnite allows players to use contextual pings on the map to communicate, it’s difficult to coordinate any kind of comprehensive plan or strategy when limited to just pings. For deaf gamers, this will break down another barrier to gaming.
And for everyone else?
For those gamers who have the fortune of possessing full access to all of their senses, these accessibility options are still important. While often forgotten or ignored, improvements in accessibility do not just benefit those who are considered the target audience.
A real life example includes something as simple as the sloped sidewalk ledges which allow for wheelchair bound pedestrians to travel unassisted, but also allow for bikers and skaters to do the same.
It’s a simple quality of life change that gaming sorely needs. Even if the overwhelming majority of Fortnite players use Houseparty’s video chat feature as a means of having face-to-face contact with their socially distanced friends, it can go a long way towards making gaming more fun for all involved.
Additionally, due to Epic Games' recent acquisition of Hyprmeet, it could be that this is how Fortnite will feature digital avatars with real-time facial features.Published 19 Nov 2020, 02:28 IST