Jeff Kaplan, the director for Overwatch, explained the development team’s philosophy when it comes to community feedback on the state of Overwatch.
A post on the official Overwatch forums addressed the trend of many players commenting on making changes to the game, especially when it comes to hero balance. The post implored that the development team should hold opinions from professional players before making hero changes, based on the pros’ expertise. Kaplan replied that although the team does indeed have a regular correspondence with pro players, that doesn’t mean the average player is being ignored.
“We think all feedback is valid (even if we don’t necessarily agree with it all),” he wrote. “Pro players definitely do have an influence on our decision-making. We have a regular conference call with pro players to discuss their thoughts on the balance of the game. Also, I’ve extended my email address to many of the pro players I’ve met over the years and some of them are really great at writing up their thoughts and sharing them with me and the OW team. The Pros also have a discord channel where some of our developers and support folks hang out to gather feedback. We also get a great report from our esports team that gathers feedback directly from the pro community. So all pros should know that they have a direct line to providing feedback to the OW team and we take it very seriously.
“But I don’t think any of that should discount the feedback of other non-pro players. Every voice matters…”
As the face of Overwatch, Kaplan has been very proactive when addressing the Overwatch community, let it be through regular Developer Update videos or his various interactions with players on the official forums. The development team has fast-tracked an update to the reporting system for the game due to high demand, as it also recently shipped it to console versions of the game as well in the most recent patch 1.14.