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Almost 500,000 Overwatch accounts have been punished for behavior problems

Jeff Kaplan says almost 500,000 Overwatch accounts have been banned because of behavior problems
Almost 500,000 Overwatch accounts have been banned because of behavior problems. Photo courtesy of Blizzard.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan said 480,000 Overwatch accounts have been punished for bad behavior.

Kaplan said Wednesday in a Developer Update his team is aware of concerns about in-game harassment and the number of trolls that ruin the playing experience for many. Since Kaplan explained last month goals for improving the reporting system, more than 20,000 email notifications were delivered to players when their reports have resulted in punitive action, and he said that ideally, the future will include in-game notifications rather than emails.

The team has penalized 480,000 accounts so far with more than 340,000 of them coming from player reports, Kaplan said, adding that the team is committed to tuning and adjusting punishment thresholds and severity in order to deliver more appropriate punitive measures.

The rising tide of problematic player behavior has also had an adverse effect on the game’s development. Kaplan explained the team had to spend “a tremendous amount of time and resources punishing people,” delaying further development of content and features (such as a math history function) because the team had to pivot its aim. As the team continues to address player concerns, Kaplan also expressed his hopes the community as a whole also plays a part in adjusting player behavior.

“The Overwatch team accepts the responsibility that we have, that we can do far better and add a lot more great systems to the game to improve everybody’s behavior and everybody’s overall positive experience, and I hope that all of us as the player community decide that we’re going to do our parts to really make a difference as well,” he said.

The reporting feature that was exclusive to the PC version of the game has been applied to the console versions as well with Patch 1.14 after players clamored for the feature.

Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard


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