Prior to the start of the weekend, Blizzard was called out on the official forums by a user in traditional troll-fashion. “SharkyMarky” questioned whether the developer even plays Overwatch, implying that it simply introduces significant changes on the Public Test Region (PTR) on a whim.
The thread was noticed by game director Jeff Kaplan, who responded to the rude poster by pointing out that he has around 800 more games than the user. “That’s not counting the daily internal playtests I am in, the time I spent in Alpha and Beta,” he added before asking whether there was another question besides the obvious trolling attempt.
The “savage” response was naturally appreciated by the community, which has always taken a stern stance against negative and toxic behavior. It forced SharkyMarky to apologize and explain that he was just frustrated with the long-standing balance complaints of Widowmaker. Kaplan followed up by apologizing as well, admitting that he came across the thread at a bad time.
I’m sorry for calling you out publicly on our forums. It was unprofessional and lacked good judgement on my part. To explain (and not excuse) what I did, I was simply feeling worn down at the moment. My team and my company care so much about feedback. So much so that one of the company values – which is bronzed around our Orc Statue in the center of campus – is “Every Voice Matters”.
We’re constantly taking critical feedback – as we should be. On a personal level, I get frustrated and annoyed when people take “shots” at us without actually stating what their issue is. How are we supposed to act on feedback if the feedback is nothing but an insult? We get tons of feedback each day that we both agree and disagree with, and we love hearing it. But it’s super demoralizing to us to simply get insulted. To imply that we don’t play our game or that we don’t love our game is just straight up false.
Kaplan concluded the incident by giving the user a year’s worth of free subscription to World of Warcraft and a Noire Widowmaker skin, which could only be obtained by pre-ordering Overwatch. The freebies left SharkyMarky incredibly happy, and he made it public on Reddit for everyone to know.
Developers work hard on their games. To suggest that they have no clue about the current status of gameplay is being ignorant and downright insulting. They are human beings as well, and may lose to emotions at bad times. Players should remember that and offer constructive feedback over harsh criticism.