The “strike team” will consists of game designers, analysts and others who are passionately trying to address the issue of toxicity in the game.
Overwatch has a major toxicity problem with some players behaving in racist ways to others, while some throw matches or refuse to cooperate with their teammates. The problem has been around for some time, and Jeff Kaplan spoke to Kotaku at BlizzCon about how they plan to tackle the problem.
Basically, Blizzard has put together a “strike team” which consists of game designers, analysts and a special group known as “Risk” which fights hacking and cheating in-game. The strike team will make punishments for players harsher to ensure that they don’t repeat such patterns of toxic behavior in the future. “We’re starting to action less toward silences and more toward suspensions,” Kaplan said. “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].”
The game will now also send notifications to players to inform them when actions has been taken against a player they’ve reported. This will be helpful in letting players know that their concerns are being addressed. Kaplan has stated that “people are fired up” about the issue and hopefully, this will help them get to the root cause of toxic behavior in the game.