Blizzard plans to invest significantly in Overwatch‘s player reporting and penalty system over the next year in an attempt to reduce the amount of toxic and negative behavior in games.
In a post on the official forums the developer revealed that it is issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior, effective immediately. According to the developer, bad behavior includes abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing. Players found to be guilty of any of these will be silenced, suspended, or even banned from the game.
“We know that making Overwatch a truly welcoming environment is an ongoing process, and this is only the first step,” the developer explains. “Over the next several months, we have plans to make additional improvements based on your feedback, including scaling competitive season bans, a notification system that will alert you when a player you’ve reported is actioned, and functionality that will allow us to more aggressively penalize players who attempt to abuse the in-game reporting tool.”
Blizzard also said that it is still committed to bringing a report system to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game.
“As console players ourselves, we know it’s been frustrating to not have this functionality on your platform,” the developer said. “We are actively working on the feature and have many elements of undergoing internal testing right now. Our goal is to implement similar reporting options as are currently available on PC, and any improvements made to PC between now and when it’s available.”
Later this week, Blizzard will release the next hero for Overwatch, Doomfist, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The character is currently being tested on the game’s PTR, but only PC players can access it.