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Blizzard launches cross-game voice chat service Blizzard Voice

Last October, Blizzard announced plans to add voice chat to its multiplayer platform, which was then known as Battle.net. Now, almost a year to the day since that announcement was made, the company has rolled out the Blizzard Voice service to all users.

The functionality of Blizzard Voice is broadly similar to that of Steam Voice Chat, according to a report from Engadget. Players can talk to both friends and friends of friends whether they’re in-game or not, as long as the Blizzard Launcher program is running.

That means that you can chat with your friend about their Hearthstone draft while you’re digging away at a raid in World of Warcraft. Blizzard claims that its chat platform offers “superior stability” and extensive customization options in the patch notes for the update that adds Voice capabilities to the launcher.

Related: First image of new Overwatch character Sombra leaked via internal Blizzard site

However, the service omits one major feature that would have benefited many players; it’s not a traditional in-game chat system. That means that you won’t be able to use the Blizzard Voice platform to strategize with other players as you’re preparing for a round of Overwatch, unless they’re your friend, or a friend-of-a-friend.

Some will be disappointed by this omission, while others would perhaps prefer to keep their distance from the small, obnoxious subset of players who will take advantage of any opportunity to annoy their opponents. It’s worth noting that Blizzard Voice does allow users to mute or adjust the volume of others on an individual basis.

While Blizzard Voice doesn’t offer completely comprehensive chat options just yet, there’s every possibility that more features will be added in the future. To gain access to this new functionality, users should make sure that their installation of Blizzard Launcher has been updated to the most recent version.