Blizzard’s Kaplan outlines future of Overwatch ban system

Blizzard’s Kaplan outlines future of Overwatch ban system

Overwatch creative director Jeff Kaplan has taken to the forums to detail how Blizzard is going to be dealing with more toxic elements of the game’s community.

In his post, Kaplan outlined short, medium and long-term initiatives that will deal with negative players, which will be part of a planned update video.

For the short term, Kaplan says Blizzard is assessing punishments and the length of suspensions and silences, with the aim of ditching silences altogether. Furthermore, those who complain about someone will be notified via email when action is taken against an offender.

Kaplan goes on to detail the medium-term solutions, which include permanent bans for someone who has been banned in a certain amount of seasons. The aforementioned email notification system will be expanded to include other reporting, as well as introduce an n-game reporting system that notifies when your reports are being actioned.

Skill ranking abuse is also in Blizzard’s sights, with the firm looking into ways to detect this behaviour.

And looking to the long term, Kaplan says Blizzard wants to work on systems to encourage positive behaviour, largely due to the fact that policing the community takes a massive amount of time and effort.

This post was in response to a post by a member of the community who had been banned for a week seemingly goading the Blizzard team. After looking into the account, Kaplan saw the account associated with the IP had 2247 complaints against it and had been silenced for grand total of 9216 hours. This led people to question how someone with that many complaints and that silence-time had not been banned for life. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.