Blizzard has been ‘doing a lot of research’ to thwart Overwatch toxicity


You can easily count me among those who’ve been historically unimpressed at the way toxicity is managed in Blizzard games; the studio has a public history of insensitivity, and I doubt I’m alone in having a pile of anecdotes about its failures to uphold its own policies and rules when it comes to in-game behavior. But as Blizzard has branched out into new genres, that attitude has matured.

Or so Jeff Kaplan’s implied, anyway. In the middle of a forum conversation about “leavers” — people who quit matches intentionally and ruin the game for those who are left behind — he says Blizzard is laser-focused on this particular problem.

“We had a lengthy meeting about this yesterday. We’ve been doing a lot of research on the problem for months now,” he writes. “We think we have some good solutions. We still need players to help us by reporting people. We do both manual and auto detection on our end, but player reports are the most immediate indicator that point us in the right direction. We also discussed the need for more feedback for the person doing the reporting so it doesn’t feel like your report is going into the void.”

Ultimately, he says, he’d rather that toxic players like leavers just not play the game to begin with.

“Our philosophy has been that we would rather not have leavers playing the game at all (especially in Competitive Play). We keep increasing the penalty for leaving and will continue to do so. We’re in the process of implementing a new policy which would take into account how many Competitive Seasons you have been banned from and at a certain point, prevent you from playing Competitive ever again.”

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