Toxicity is a growing issue which all gaming platforms and networks tackle in their separate capacities. However, imagine for a second if all of those platforms and networks became one so that a banned toxic individual will remain banned across the board.
Speaking with The New York Times (via PureXbox) in a recent interview, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, shared a wish for cross-platform bans where players getting banned for profanity on Xbox Live will also get automatically banned on PlayStation Network, for example.
The notion being that a highly abusive player should not be able to impact others by just jumping platforms. They should serve their punishment (ban period) on most if not all major platforms.
“Something I would love us to be able to do — this is a hard one as an industry — is when somebody gets banned in one of our networks, is there a way for us to ban them across other networks?
Or at least as a player, for me to be able to bring my banned user list, because I can always block people from my play. And I’d love to be able to bring them to other networks where I play. So this is the group of people that I choose not to play with. Because I don’t want to have to recreate that in every platform that I play video games on.”
The idea of a shared ban-list across the gaming industry has merit but not without concerns. The in-game report button can often be abused to impact innocent players or drop too harsh a judgement for minor mistakes.
That being said, a shared ban-list to combat cheating will probably be something players will be interested in worldwide. Any particular player who has been confirmed to be using third-party software to cheat online, or who has suffered repeated bans, should be locked out of other online games as well.
On the subject of destructive behavior, Spencer also touched upon the allegations hounding Activision Blizzard. He confirmed that certain changes have been put into place which impacts the relationship between the Call of Duty publisher and Xbox. He however refrained from mentioning those said changes.