Toxicity in online gaming has always been an apparent issue as there are many players out there who like to troll others online. In turn, serious fans who want to enjoy the team-based game can’t play the game to the fullest. In line with this, toxicity has also been a very prominent issue in “Overwatch” lately as Blizzard has been trying to enforce stricter rules for smoother gameplay. However, in a recent developer update, game director Jeff Kaplan has admitted that the toxicity has slowly been affecting overall game development.

Toxicity as its finest

The official “Overwatch” YouTube account just uploaded a new developer update that didn’t focus on any of the game’s balance changes. This time, Kaplan wanted to address toxicity in the game and about how it's not only ruining the community but slowing down game production. He claimed that the developers have been put in an awkward position that is slowing down the creation of more important features.

Kaplan noted how he and the team want to release more cinematics, maps, and heroes, but they have to pour in so much time and resources in trying to weed out people’s bad behavior in the game. He then brought up the report feature on consoles as a prime example of this. “I wish we could take the time we put into having reporting on consoles and have put that toward a match history system or a replay system instead,” he stated.

The people who worked on the report system were apparently also in charge of creating the same said features for consoles. With this in mind, it seems toxicity could hinder more production issues in the long run, even for PC players. It's a bit strange, however, that Kaplan brought up the reporting issue on consoles since all online multiplayer games should have that feature.

Rising penalties

Following his statement, Kaplan noted that the new report system has managed to weed out a good amount of toxic players. There have been over 340,000 penalized accounts so far because of the said system. Blizzard has also sent over 20,000 emails informing fans that their report has ended in a disciplinary action.

In spite of this, toxicity will continue to be a rampant issue in online gaming, as even Kaplan has admitted so. There will be no “magic patch” that suddenly makes everyone friendly and cooperative, but Blizzard is taking the necessary steps to ensure that most of the experiences online are toxic-free. Those who want to pick up “Overwatch” can grab a copy for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.