Overwatch retools competitive mode, apologizes to Aussie fans


Overwatch is gearing up to tinker with competitive play once again, according to a new dev video from Blizzard game director Jeff Kaplan. He explains that the biggest change in season six will be that it’s shorter: two months, not three months. A one-month season, he says, feels too short, but three months has turned out to a bit of a drag, with engagement being much higher earlier on, hence a two-month test to see how it goes.

Concurrently, competitive points will be rescaled to the new season length, skill rating decay at the lower tiers of play is under review (five games per week down from seven, and decay reduced from 50 to 25), and higher-tier matches should see better skill ratings, stronger balance, and longer queue times to make that happen.

Meanwhile, Blizzard has apologized to Aussie fans who accused it of “cultural insensitivity” for some goofups in the Junkertown map — specifically, the use of American slang where Aussie slang would more properly be used (take-out instead of take-away) and a voiceover line (“they thought they could take our land“) that observers suggest is oblivious to Australia’s historical and modern relationship with indigenous people and their territory.

“I’d like to offer a direct apology to the entire country of Australia,” Kaplan wrote on Reddit. “Please forgive our cultural insensitivity. We will fix this in an upcoming patch (the sign travesty will most likely go live for some period before being fixed).” He then goes on to make a joke about coffee, the combination of which suggests Blizzard is chiefly talking about the take-out error.

Source: Press release, Reddit via Gamespot/Kotaku

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One day multi-billion dollar, global studios will actually bother to ask someone who works in a region they’re trying to reproduce in-game if they’re remotely close to the mark.

One day.

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Not gaming related but Disney does it for many movies they produce now – after some mishaps – most notably the hyenas in Lion King.

In the credits of Moana you’ll see lots of thanks to the Oceanic historical society this and that as well as researchers named. It reflects in the quality of the movie’s writing in that case.

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Yup, major brands are leaning that lazy stereotypes from recent decades don’t fly anymore in this increasingly globalized, progressive world, especially if you want to appeal to the global market (which they do). And it’s fantastic, I’m a huge fan of getting more authentic representations of places and cultures that I’m either unfamiliar with and can learn about, or that I’m familiar with and can enjoy/appreciate the attention to detail.

And damnit, I need to see Moana before it gets removed from Netflix. Saw the pieces about a lot of the tech that went into rendering the movie and it was rad as shit.