The Banned Players List Was Published on The Overwatch Forums
The Overwatch publisher started the New Year in a big way by publishing their huge list of players in South Korea who are being punished for in-game toxicity. Publishing a banned players list isn’t something commonly seen across the globe, but apparently this is something that is quite common for Blizzard in South Korea after each Overwatch season, however this is the list has ever been. Offences can rage from throwing a game, harassment and bad language and each infraction does carry its own punishment.
Blizzard has addressed toxicity in Overwatch in the past, but with this huge list coming from one region alone it is abundantly clear that they’re struggling to keep it too a minimum. In January a year ago, Jeff Kaplan did outline a a player behaviour initiative, suggesting that toxicity within the game is a major focus. With an updated report feature, the Overwatch team is also looking outside of the game itself for bad behaviour on social media and updated social features were added to promote better behaviour.
There are numbers of course to show that these methods to show that they are helping in cutting down abuse in competitive games. Numbers from July show a drop of 26.4% on American severs and 16.4% on South Korean servers – of course, as evidenced by the sheer number of players that were just banned, there is still work to be done.
With this on on-going problem, it’s even spreading into the elite-level league. A large number of players were suspended during the first year of the league, and punishments for 2019 have already begun to roll out. Blizzard has adopted a shame list for these players, which they plan on updating with information including what the infraction was and the action that was taken against the player.
Toxicity isn’t new to online gaming, and its reassuring that at Blizzard does seem to be taking serious steps in curbing it so that the online experience can be more enjoyable for everyone.