Blizzard’s Overwatch Penalty System Brings Stiffer Consequences For Bad Behavior

For all of life's mysterious, there is one simple trick to everyone living in harmony. Simply put, don't be a jerk. No really, it's that simple. Of course, sometimes you wouldn't know it when playing an online multiplayer game, such as Overwatch. That is something that bothers Blizzard and goes against its "Play nice; play fair" way of approaching things, and so it's going to dole out some tough love in the form of stiffer penalties.

Blizzard issued the warning in a blog post while emphasizing in bold letters that increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior will take effect immediately.


"In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing. If you see someone engaging in any of these types of behaviors, report them. Players in violation will be silenced, suspended, or even banned from the game as a result," Blizzard said.

This is just the beginning. While nobody likes overly strict rules, Blizzard is committed to making sure that a few bad apples, or even a barrel of bad apples, do not spoil the entire lot and ultimately drive gamers away. To that end, Blizzard views its in-game reporting and player penalty system as one of Overwatch's most important features, and it is something Blizzard said it will "invest in significantly" throughout the next year.

"Over the next several months, we have plans to make additional improvements based on your feedback, including scaling competitive season bans, a notification system that will alert you when a player you’ve reported is actioned, and functionality that will allow us to more aggressively penalize players who attempt to abuse the in-game reporting tool," Blizzard added.

For now Blizzard's efforts are mostly concentrated on PC, though it has plans of bringing a reporting a system to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. While no date has been set, Blizzard said it is actively working on it and is currently testing some of the mechanics of in-game reporting on consoles internally.

This is all good stuff by Blizzard. Overwatch is hugely popular with over 30 million players, though if you're unlucky enough to be teamed up with (or even against) a jerk, it can quickly ruin the experience.

Blizzard isn't alone in its effort to thwart bad behavior, either. Valve recently swung a mighty big ban hammer and conked 40,000 Steam accounts in one fell swoop, which was the largest single-day ban in Steam's history. And in an effort to shame rage quitters, Capcom started attached identifiable skull icons to players in Street Fighter V.