While video games are largely more connected than any other time before, there are certain lines people are not willing to cross. In a time when companies can access various amounts of information about you, your privacy is more highly contested than ever. Some questions have arisen with the launch of Diablo Immortal that the game contains facial recognition technology. Are there features in the game where Diablo Immortal is distinctly looking at your face?
Does Diablo Immortal have facial identity systems?
According to Blizzard Entertainment’s Global Community Lead for the Diablo franchise, Adam Fletcher, Diablo Immortal does not have functioning facial recognition features in place. In his tweet below, he states that originally NetEase was working on a feature that the game would have your character mimic your facial emotions and expressions. This feature was canned because of quality concerns.
Whether you believe Fletcher or not is up to you. While you can still find the files for these features in the game, he does go on to say that they will be removed hopefully sometime soon.
While Fletcher has given a reason for these files to be in place, some people are not buying his explanation. NetEase is a Chinese development company, and plenty of Chinese mobile games do make use of facial scanning technology. Reasons they do this include making sure that children do not play video games too late at night.
In 2019, China’s government worked in a curfew for children to be denied access to video games during late hours. To begin a game, players had to sign in to games with their real name and an ID number. Kids would get around this by either borrowing someone else’s phone or using an adult’s login. To prevent this, Chinese gaming companies have begun implementing facial scans to figure out if the person playing is actually an adult or not during late hours.
As we said before, whether or not you believe Diablo Immortal had that facial recognition software to scan you or not is up to you. Hopefully, they will have the files for it removed soon.