Blizzard has been putting in a huge amount of effort to combat the ever-present toxicity in their games. Overwatch has become infamous for the levels of hostile and belittling behavior permeated throughout the game community. They’ve done a commendable job so far, but their latest efforts seem to have been stunningly successful at combating unwanted behavior.
Blizzard implemented a series of new social features a while back, alongside a rework of certain heroes. The LFG and Endorsements features were aimed squarely at putting negative behavior into time out. This was mainly accomplished by putting in a revised feedback system that allows players to positively reinforce behavior among one another.
Since the addition of the new social features last month, data analysts at Blizzard have found big drops in abusive chat.
The percentage of competitive matches that contain abusive chat is down 26.4% in the Americas, and 16.4% in Korea. Similarly, the percentage of daily players being abusive is down 28.8% in the Americas, and 21.6% in Korea. Those stats are oddly specific, and as Jeff Kaplan says, that’s just the info they’ve collected so far. Hence why we’re seeing data for the Americas as a region and Korea as a single country.
And even though the game industry has a long way to go, the industry as a whole looks to be going in the right direction. Maybe we could help this whole problem out by telling the hundreds of people still harassing Jessica Price, then blaming her for their own toxicity, to shut up, but I don’t expect that to happen sadly.