Toxicity among online gaming communities is nothing new, especially within shooters. Whether its Call of Duty or Counter-Strike, toxic gamers have been around for nearly as long as online gaming itself, and most mature gamers already know how to deal with it by simply blocking or muting those players. However, it seems that toxic gamers have gotten so bad recently, that Blizzard says they haven’t been able to make any new updates to Overwatch because they are far too busy dealing with them.
According to the newest Developer Update video, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan stated that resources that would have gone towards making new content such as maps, heroes and animated shorts, have instead been devoted to combating abuse and a “rising tide of toxicity” within the game. Kaplan uses the recent update in which a reporting system was added to console versions of the game as an example:
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. I wish we could take the time we put into putting reporting on console and have put them towards a match history system or a replay system instead.
It seems really strange, though, that Blizzard never realized before that online anonymity may lead to some players to act like total jerks, especially considering they’re the developers behind the most popular and well-known MMORPG of all time. In all honesty, they probably should have included reporting among their very first updates. In his message to the community, Kaplan asks toxic players to “take a deep look inward” and to keep in mind that the game should be a fun experience for everyone.
If that sounds a little too Kumbaya for you, keep in mind that acting like a jerk means you won’t get those new maps heroes you’ve been waiting so long for, so try to keep things civil online.