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Blizzard Reiterates That Bans, Not Silences, Will Curb Toxicity From Overwatch

Blizzard has been fairly vocal in the past few months about its great war against removing all kinds of bad behavior from Overwatch.

The developer began by revamping the in-game reporting system for clarity and keeping the community informed about their part in cleaning the game. More than 480,000 accounts have been punished in various forms so far, more than 340,000 of which was a direct result of the reports incoming from players.

The developer also went ahead to introduce a three-strike policy for Competitive Play, where players that earn three seasonal bans will be permanently banned from ranked queues. More recently, it was pointed out that even spamming voice lines can result in bans.

Speaking with Kotaku during BlizzCon 2017 last week, game director Jeff Kaplan stated that Blizzard has created a “strike team” to tackle the issue of bad behavior in the game.

“We’re starting to action less toward silences and more toward suspensions,” Kaplan stated. “If somebody’s doing bad behavior, just silencing them can sometimes convince them to do things like throw matches and grief in other ways. If you keep exemplifying bad behavior, we’re gonna have you leave the game [permanently].”

He further added that Blizzard does not want Overwatch to become a thriving place for bad behavior. It is not just a concern for the development team but also the community.

“We’re not sitting here with our heads in the sand,” Kaplan said. “You have concerns, and your concerns are now one of our top priorities. If that means the thing we’re gonna focus on as much as Moira and Blizzard World is toxicity, then we’re gonna do it.”