There was a flurry of interest last week over the latest Overwatch Developer Update: nothing to do with a new hero or map, and everything about players, and how they interact with each other:

This is nothing new, of course: there are toxic players everywhere. However, when your Lead Developer uses this obvious self-destruction as an example? Suddenly, shit gets real:


From https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/14/blizzard-overwatch-toxicity-developer-update/

I don’t normally take notice of Overwatch stuff: I have zero interest in the game. However, my comment on this threw up an unexpected train of thought on Thursday night from Brunold, one of my regular contributors on Twitter:

This is an EXTREMELY good point, and shows (if it wasn’t apparent already) that each of Actiblizz’s IP’s is controlled and managed in vastly different ways. Warcraft’s been horribly toxic for twelve plus years, especially when it comes to PvP play, but nobody at any point stood up and told players they’d not get an Expansion unless everybody behaved. Can you imagine if that had happened with Warlords or Legion, what the reaction would have been from the fanbase?


This now begs the question of why there is no single ability to report players in the Blizzard Launcher, or indeed where that much anticipated ‘appear offline’ ability vanished to from the same. In fact, should there not be a company-wide policy on abuse, and should it not be the case that if an individual acts like a dick in one Blizzard IP, they are summarily banned from them all? If Overwatch admits suffering from toxic players and that they are destroying progress, why can’t other titles operate under the same thought process? If gaming across all the IP’s is to maintain the same high standard, then presumably every one should live under an umbrella of fair play and decency.

In the modern world, and with an organisation clearly committed to long term player support, is that really so much to ask?

3 thoughts on “Nasty

  1. two things – Overwatch is going to be a competivive big bucks e-sport, so it needs a good image and that is worth investing in – where as for WoW it was not as for WoW it is just the players impacted – not a viewing audience of non-players (potentially).

    second – we’ve seen Diabalo ways of doing things bleed into WoW – so can Overwatch developments in fair play migrate to WoW once they are working?


    • The message sent is still “we don’t want that in Overwatch”, not “We don’t want that. Period”. So what they communicate to toxic players is that they’re absoultely welcome in all their other title. They now made clear that they’re aware of toxic mentality, and singled Overwatch out as the one game they offer where this is not acceptable. “It’s just Overwatch, the devs still know that games need to have a certain edginess to them, they need us in all the other games now.” Maybe that’s unavoidable, maybe the company is working on limited ressources. Maybe it’s impossible for them to delay fighting toxicity in one IP until every other IP is ready. But their actions will have consequences, and to me they don’t look good.

      So I don’t disagree with anything you said, but it’s not a smart move to put Overwatch above everything else, especially after they just escaped the wrath of Warcraft as their dominating IP.


  2. In WoW you can lock out toxic players from YOUR play without consequences. You think Arthasdklol is a dick? Block him on chat and don’t group with him!

    In Overwatch you are stuck with him at least for a game.


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