Overwatch Developer Update: Play Nice, Play Fair

By Sam Quirke, 2 months ago
In the latest development update for Overwatch, Game Director Jeff Kaplan took the opportunity to discuss the apparent "rising tide" of bad behaviour in the game; in particular he addresses the concerns of those who feel the in-game reporting system recently added to consoles isn't improving the situation.

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You can listen to his thoughts on the subject in the below video. Kaplan admits that the system is "not perfect", but points out that 340,000 accounts have had disciplinary action taken against them as a direct result of players using the reporting function.


The director talks about improving feedback so that someone who files a report gets confirmation if action has been taken. A pilot programme has been experimenting with sending emails to those who have raised a complaint; Kaplan hopes to expand the pilot programme and find a way to integrate these notifications into the game itself.

Beyond visible improvements to those filing the report, Kaplan also talks about ongoing work behind the scenes, such as continuous improvement and adjustment to the "parameters" and "gravity" of punishment. In the second half of the update, he addresses the player base directly with a plea to play and act fairly so that Blizzard can free up the "tremendous amount" of time and resources diverted onto punishment management and get back to making more content and updates. Apparently, the very same people who were scheduled to work on match replay and match history updates had to be "re-routed" into trying to tackle the problems of bad behaviour in the game.

The bad behaviour is not just ruining the experience for one another... it's actually making the game progress, in terms of development, at a much slower rate.
Kaplan ends the update by stressing that Blizzard takes full accountability for putting systems in place to improve the situation. He simply hopes that the community will do their part to "pat their teammates on the back" and remember that "we're all here to have fun".

There were no solid details of further updates in the video, but fans should remember to keep an eye out for the new Junkertown map scheduled to arrive on September 19th.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016. He's also been gaming long enough to know what a text parser is. When not hopelessly lost in the latest open-world epic, Sam is busy devouring books and podcasts or trading Pokémon with his wife.