Blizzard is stepping up its efforts to stamp out toxicity in Overwatch, with a new, more aggressive approach to issuing penalties starting today. While the company stopped short of detailing how the new approach will work, the message is clear that bad behavior will be punished more severely.
“We believe that our in-game reporting and player penalty system is one of our most important features, and it’s something we want to invest in significantly over the next year. To this end, effective immediately, we will be issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior,” the statement reads.
“In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing. If you see someone engaging in any of these types of behaviors, report them. Players in violation will be silenced, suspended, or even banned from the game as a result.”
Increased penalties seems to suggest that the penalties will mostly be the same, except longer or more prompt. Whatever the case, the studio is continuing to tweak its approach to discipline in the game, and promises in the next few months to include “scaling competitive season bans” and punishments for those who abuse the game’s in-game reporting tool.