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:
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?