Home Gaming Battling Overwatch toxicity is slowing the game’s development down

Battling Overwatch toxicity is slowing the game’s development down

2 min read


If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my many, many years on the internet, it’s that people are dicks. Yes, yes, of course, I don’t mean all people – but the relative anonymity afforded by being behind a screen has bred a culture where people feel they have the right to say and do whatever they like online.

It’s something that happens especially within various gaming communities, where toxic behaviour is often the norm. Dota has an especially bad rap for fostering toxic behaviour, something more recently seen in Overwatch. It’s not something that Blizzard is keen on, so they’ve been working hard to keep that sort of thing to a minimum.

Unfortunately, all the work they’re doing in maintaining civility is slowing down progress on the game itself. So says Overwatch Overlord Jeff Kaplan. In a new video, he explained how they’re spending so much time staving off toxicity that it’s affected the development of the game.

“We want to make new maps, we want to make new heroes, we want to make animated shorts,” Kaplan said. “But we’ve been put in this weird position where we’re spending a tremendous amount of time and resources punishing people and trying to make people behave better.”

Many don’t believe that the reporting tools actually help, but Kaplan says otherwise. Most of their action in this regard is a direct result of reporting. Unfortunately, implementing all of the reporting tools and dealing with them is slowing development.

“I wish we could take the time we put into having reporting on console and have put that toward a match history system or a replay system instead,” he said. “It was the exact same people that had to work on both, who got re-routed to work on the other. The bad behavior is not just ruining the experience for one another, but the bad behavior’s also making the game progress—in terms of development—at a much slower rate.”

The video is weird and perhaps a bit preachy – but definitely worth a watch. In short, it’s all about one of Blizzard’s main tenets: Play Nice, Play Fair.

Last Updated: September 14, 2017


  1. Ottokie

    September 14, 2017 at 12:52

    You cant spell teamwork without teabagging in the middle.


  2. Kromas Ryder

    September 14, 2017 at 13:07

  3. Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

    September 14, 2017 at 15:09



  4. Deceased

    September 14, 2017 at 22:36

    I honestly think if they introduce a system where people can say: “I’m a healer, I need a team of 2 tanks, 2 dps and 1 other healer” when matchmaking, these issues would be alleviated a bit…

    Sure, it WOULD give rise to a different kind of toxicity – but presently, a large portion of toxicity comes from players that have tilted because, in my mind at least, they’ve been matched with players that can’t fill … i.e. 4 healers, a tank and 1 dps main as an example – this means, your TEAM performed badly, because people were forced to fill roles in which they can’t perform that well – so that “negative energy” ( I’m not a hippy anymore, I swear ) gets carried over to the next match, and the next, untill the player can’t keep it in anymore and it just kind of bubbles over – fast forward a couple of weeks, and this negative attitude is now the default ( go-to ) personality the player assumes when playing Overwatch…

    How did I come to this ridiculous conclusion? Well, I’ve seen the exact same type of toxicity in DotA 2 and DotA prior to that…

    Sure, being able to play whatever you want in Overwatch is a great thing – but COMPETITIVE should be reserved for people that actually wants to play Overwatch at their best, against opponents playing at their best…

    Earlier tonight a guy in my team told me 2/2/2 does not ensure your victory ( at this point we were roling 4/1/1 dps heavy team without a single hitscan ) … and I quote: “You could win with 6 supports” – my response was simply: “Sure, you can win with 6 supports, you can win without a single elimination” ( nothing toxic – just pointing out the flaw in his logic ) and then told him that it’s all about increasing your chance of victory… want to know what happened? We lost …

    I’m VERY VERY VERY confident that having the ability to choose how your team is composed before entering the match would significantly reduce the toxicity of the community, because you’d get less trolls in your team playing Hanzo only with little to no regard of the rest of the team-composition. ( Hanzo is great, I don’t mind having him in my team, but if we need a hitscan and our off-dps goes Hanzo, a person gets very close to tilting )

    Any thoughts?


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