Blizzard Punishes Over 18,000 South Korean Players for Bad Behavior in Overwatch

Blizzard has had an interesting time lately, but it seems that the company is still doing what it can for their community. We’ve come a long way, but it appears that one area some players are still struggling with is how some of us behave while playing with others, particularly in Overwatch. So much so, that Blizzard had to punish over 18,000 players in South Korea, an excessive number, showing that there needs to be a system in place to keep the toxicity out.

Beyond just the punishment of these players, Blizzard also featured a public list of all 18,188 punished accounts on the game’s forum, something that is common in South Korea due to the volume of toxicity. Blizzard normally publishes this list of punished accounts after each season, but it’s unusual to see a list with this many players on it.

Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan assured the community that dealing with bad player behavior is a main focus, as outlined by their player behavior initiative last January. However, the team still struggles with this, as evidenced by the amount of players on these public lists. It is worth noting that Blizzard is cracking down on bad behavior in-game and outside of it, too. YouTubers and Twitch streamers will be punished for bad behavior, just as the game’s players would be.

After the behavior initiative in 2018, it does seem that abusive behavior did decrease, but there is still a long way to go. In South Korea there was an amendment made to the Game Industry Promotion Act, in which artificially inflating a player’s stats in illegitimate ways (a.k.a. “boosting”) is punishable by law, with up to a two-year prison sentence and fine in place.

Despite these staggering numbers, it is clear that an effort is being made to improve the gameplay experience. Blizzard has a tough task in dealing with toxic Overwatch players, especially since it’s not as easy to track. Either way, it will get better with time as developers discover new ways to crack down on abusive behavior.

[Source: Dot eSports]