If Players Would Behave, Then 'Overwatch' Updates Might Come Sooner, Blizzard Says

Toxic Overwatch Community is Slowing Down Game Updates Says Director

Overwatch's Jeff Kaplan on toxic behavior: 'the community needs to take a deep look inwards'

In the video he also says that Blizzard having to focus on tackling this toxicity is slowing down game development on new content and features.

Specifically, Kaplan explained that Blizzard has taken action against over 480,000 accounts in Overwatch as a result of poor player behavior or toxicity, with almost 2/3 of that amount coming from players that have directly reported others players. "There is not going to be a moment where we have a magic patch in Overwatch that makes bad behaviour go away", Kaplan explained.

"We've been put in this weird position where we're spending a tremendous amount of time and resources into punishing people, trying to make people behave better", Kaplan said. While his claim that those responsible for implementing a recent console reporting system were the same team responsible for a match history and replay system are surely true, it seems short-sighted not to understand that the internet is a toxic place.

"Our highest level philosophy is if you're a bad person doing bad things in Overwatch, we don't want you in Overwatch". He also pointed out that creating systems in Overwatch that combat toxicity takes time away from actual game development. It was the exact same people who worked on both, that had to be rerouted. According to the game director, 340,000 of those accounts were identified as a direct result of players using the reporting system.

In Competitive mode, players are often accused of insta-locking damage-heavy heroes and ignoring the needs of the wider team, causing other players to "tilt" or threaten to throw the game. "The bad behavior is not just ruining the experience for one another, but the bad behavior's also making the game progress-in terms of development-at a much slower rate".

While Blizzard will take steps to stem the tide of toxicity in Overwatch, Kaplan stressed that players, too, must "take a deep look inward" and think about if they could be nicer. What are your thoughts on toxicity in Overwatch? He believes it's the responsibility of the players as well as the community to help fix it. "There's a way to spread positivity that I don't think is really prevalent right now". In light of how much people have been begging for clearer, more effective reporting tools and how little has changed so far, the video comes off as alternatively defensive and not particularly reassuring, given how vague most of it is.

If there's one thing that I've learned in my many, many years on the internet, it's that people are dicks.

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