Toxic Overwatch Community is Slowing Down Game Updates, Says Director

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Toxic Overwatch Community is Slowing Down Game Updates, Says Director

Ever get the feeling that Overwatch isn’t changing as much as you’d like? Well, guess what, buddy? According to game director Jeff Kaplan, that’s on you. In a new developer update video, Kaplan clarifies that resources that would have been devoted to new content (maps, heroes and animated shorts) are instead siphoned to fighting abuse and a “rising tide of toxicity” within the game.

Citing the recent update adding a report system to console versions of Overwatch, Kaplan says:

“We’ve been put in this weird position where we’re spending a tremendous amount of time and resources punishing people and trying to make people behave better. I wish we could take the time we put into putting reporting on console and have put them towards a match history system or a replay system instead. It was the exact same people who had to work on both who got re-routed to work on the other.”

While these videos from Kaplan are usually devoted to detailing new gameplay features and changes, this Developer Update was unusual in that the sole topic of discussion was on player reporting and punishment. It is clear that Blizzard wants these players bringing grief and negativity to the game out of it. “If you are a bad person doing bad things in Overwatch, we don’t want you in Overwatch,” Kaplan proclaims.

In Blizzard’s seemingly never-ending quest to turn the player community into a peaceful optimistic utopia not unlike the world of Overwatch itself, the developer took disciplinary action against 480,000 accounts, with 340,000 of those being a direct result of the game’s reporting system.

For some reason, Kaplan and Blizzard are just finding out now that anonymity online may lead to overall shitty behavior—surprise, surprise, people say mean stuff on the internet. So Kaplan urges the community to “take a deep look inward” to help to make the game a fun experience for all.

In short, be nice to the other kids, or the adults will take your toys away. Check out Kaplan’s soft scolding for yourself in the Developer Update video below.

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