Brawlhalla introduces innovative live subtitle system for streams

Game streams from Ubisoft’s iconic, multi-layered platform fighter brawlhalla will benefit from the introduction of a state-of-the-art live captioning system that will make them more accessible to both the hearing impaired and non-native English speakers.

The video game developer best known for Assassin’s Creed It is far cry series has teamed up with Cambridge-based Speechmatics — whose award-winning speech-to-text API engine is among the most advanced on the planet.

brawlhallawhich is free to play, has a community of over 80 million players worldwide across mobile platforms, consoles and PC and is currently the most popular fighting game on Steam.

Within the frenetic platform brawler originally developed by Atlanta-based Blue Mammoth Games, characters use blasters, katars, rocket launchers, cannons, swords and spears to force opponents into blast zones and the vivo are an important aspect of community interaction and immersion in the game.

Speechmatics’ enhanced captions will be available in esports tournaments as well as twice-weekly game developer streams and can be enjoyed across multiple platforms including YouTube, Twitch and Discord.

Evolving entertainment

Accessibility in video games has been a hot topic in recent years, with titles like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II opening the way.

Despite further developments on the hardware side in the form of Microsoft’s adaptive XBox controller, a 2020 report by UK charity Scope revealed that 66% of gamers with impairments or impairments said they face barriers or issues related to their video gaming experience.

As far as streaming is concerned, many members of Generation X who grew up in the late 1970s and 80s during the advent of early home gaming systems such as those manufactured by Atari and Sinclair Research remain perplexed and confused by the phenomenon of streaming.

Why, after all, would anyone choose to spend time watching strangers play a video game when someone can easily replicate the experience and be in the center of the action?

However, streaming is very popular with Amazon-owned Twitch attracting an estimated 17.5 million daily users and generating 600 billion hours of gameplay in 2019.

The allure of streaming is countless – from fostering a sense of community and helping gamers develop new skills to offering valuable pre-purchase consumer research. In addition, streams provide a fun relaxation experience for those who want to jump the intensity and concentration required for the game from time to time.

Despite growing popularity, content on online streaming platforms still does not fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and while auto captioning options, such as those provided by YouTube, are rapidly improving – accuracy levels still leave much to be desired. you want, as well as its suitability for real-time experiences such as games.

speed and immersion

The Speechmatics API connects directly brawlhalla and, after capturing the audio, the engine sends a real-time text feed to a custom Wowza engine, which inputs the text stream and sends the entire packet to its final destination in the viewer’s home.

A custom dictionary allows the development team to instantly add niche terminology in real time related to game characters and environments that would not normally be present in the technology’s training datasets.

While currently only available in the English language, there are plans to launch in other languages ​​as soon as possible and continue to provide unrivaled transcription and subtitling across the board through the company’s proprietary technology.

Speechmatics is not only differentiated in the market for its ability to handle subtle variations in regional accents, tone and pitch, but it is also capable of handling noisy environments such as those found in competitive game streams.

Commenting on the partnership, Ricardo Herreros-Symons, founding member of Speechmatics, says: “Personally, I am very pleased with Speechmatics’ partnership with brawlhalla to increase the accessibility of a game loved by tens of millions around the world. Having grown up playing many similar games, I know how fun they can be and it’s a real pleasure to know that now even more people can share in that experience.”

In a media announcement, Speechmatics CEO Katy Wigdahl said:

“As an industry larger than Hollywood and the music industry combined, there is no doubt that games have enormous potential to lead the way in accessibility. Great progress has already been made on this, with a wide range of adaptive controllers and display options available for most games and platforms, but there is still more to be done.”

Mateo Palfreman, Stream Production Manager at brawlhalla added:

“Accessibility is increasingly part of day-to-day game development at Ubisoft. Recent years have witnessed tremendous progress, with increased awareness, changing attitudes and practices across all sectors. We recognize our responsibility to include as many players as possible and Speechmatics offers the most accurate real-time speech-to-text on the market.”

The new partnership is further proof, if ever it was needed, that as new media and consumer viewing habits evolve, accessibility provisions must also keep pace to avoid sizable communities being left behind. . Technological innovation is a vital tool to achieve this, but it is best harnessed through inclusion-focused collaboration.

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