Fighting toxicity in games is a constant race to be ahead.
That’s according to the people behind Rainbow Six: Siege, who recently spoke to GameSpot at the Rainbow Six Paris Majors. Ubisoft told the outlet that the team is in a constant race to negate as much of the damage toxic players bring as possible.
“Toxicity is not a fight that you will win,” said brand director Alex Remy. “It’s a race, though, that you have to take. The best job that you can do is try to negate as much as possible.”
“For this, we have taken two major measures. One, a couple of months ago, when we are banning everyone that is on-track using homophobic and racial slurs. And now, having mute chat, giving the ability for any player to mute the text chat of any other player that may become toxic.”
Remy explains that the nature of having a multiplayer game means that the developer needs to have a hard stance against toxic behaviour. If one player in ten is being abusive, then everyone’s experience is being soured.
But Remy reinforced that punishing negative behaviour isn’t enough - companies running online games need to work to create a space where positive action is rewarded.
He cites systems like Dota 2’s punishment queue as a space that encourages bad actors to behave appropriately before rejoining the public space.
“It’s about the balance between the punishment and the education, and that’s something that we have to develop.”
In fact, games like Dota and League are sources of inspiration for the team, as Siege also shares similarities with “hero” characters and team composition, and balancing mechanics that make the gameplay interesting while not being too open for exploitation.
Remy closes off the conversation by talking about the diversity in Rainbow Six: Siege. Each new update comes with a gender balance of new Operators and aims to broaden the range of nationalities available in the game.
“We are extremely happy to take liberties with reality,” said Remy. “In most of the units that we feature in the game, a lot of them do not allow female operators, for instance. Us, we give no damn about that.”
“We’d rather have diversity as the number one objective versus authenticity.”