Technology

Blizzard: Toxic Overwatch players are hurting the game’s development


Jeff Kaplan explains how policing the Overwatch community is something he wishes there was no need to do.

Everyone knows that toxic players can go a long way toward ruining a specific Overwatch match with trollish play or abusive chat language. But as Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan points out in his latest developer update video, policing that kind of bad behavior also impacts the game as a whole by taking developer resources away from making actual new content.

While the Overwatch team is passionate about making new maps, heroes, and animated shorts for the game, Kaplan says “we’re spending a tremendous amount of time and resources punishing people and trying to make people behave better… The bad behavior is not just ruining the experience for one another, but it’s actually making the game progress in terms of developement at a much slower rate.”

As one example of this problem, Kaplan pointed out that the Overwatch team members who recently implemented a player reporting system on consoles had to delay work on creating a match history and replay system for the game. Adding these tools for console players seems necessary, though; so far on the PC, over 70 percent of the 480,000 disciplinary actions taken against player accounts have been “a direct result of players using the reporting system,” Kaplan said.

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