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GDC 2023: dot big bang takes the Nintendo approach to safe online play

dot big bang’s Nintendo approach to online play is just one part of the team’s approach to building a safe and secure Roblox competitor, as we learned at GDC23.

Dot Big Bang Nintendo - header art from the platform Dot Big Bang showing various pixelated characters, one at a desk by a computer, another looking at a tablet screen, another on a laptop, all milling about.

dot big bang, a new platform for user-generated content, is currently in its public alpha, so we met up with the team behind it at GDC 2023 to have a chat about it. Alongside a wider interview coming later, the team made clear its hope to build a safe platform.

When asked about the concerns around Roblox’s safety, Robert Anderberg, CEO of Control Zee, said, “we’ve made some explicit choices so far, and I would say we’re much more on the Nintendo end of the scale.” One example he mentions is how the platform doesn’t have “any open-world voice chat.”

“The only way you can communicate at the moment is through these emojis,” Rob continues. “It kind of reminds me of Journey a little bit, where you just have these little nice little interactions with people. And if you remove that entire thing, then you’ve removed the whole problem.

“People often criticise Nintendo’s online strategy, and they say, ‘oh, they’re behind the times’ or whatever. I think Nintendo are actually incredibly intentional about what they do. What they do is just don’t allow people to communicate – you can’t have a problem if you cut it off.”

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It’s nice to see a platform taking safety seriously, though it’s a difficult balancing act – not enough communication tools, and the platform stops being a social space for friends to gather. Either way, you can learn more about the platform in our full dot big bang interview.

For more from GDC 2023, check out our King Games interview with the Candy Crush dev, the new Fortnite Creative UEFN integration, plus a full State of Unreal 2023 roundup.