Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has revealed how the new social features have impacted on the game’s atmosphere so far.
Blizzard recently released two new systems for Overwatch which were designed to foster a more positive environment.
Looking for Group gives players more control over who they play with so that those with a particular idea of how they want the game to be played can seek out like-minded team-mates, while the endorsements systems allows players to recognize others who behaved in a match in a way that made the experience more enjoyable.
Blizzard has been focused on reducing in-game toxicity for some time, but prior to these features most of their measures against toxicity had focused on punishing bad behavior through the likes of the reporting system.
So far, it seems that adding a carrot to counter-balance the stick has had a positive effect, with major reductions in the incidents of negative behavior in the weeks following the release of these features, as Jeff Kaplan revealed on the official forums:
“Our Global Insights group just finished parsing some stats as it relates to LFG and Endorsements.
Post release of Endorsements and LFG:
The % of Competitive Matches that Contain Abusive Chat is down:
26.4% in the Americas
16.4% in KR
The % of Daily Players being Abusive is down:
28.8% in the Americas
21.6% in KR
We’re really pleased with the community’s efforts to make OW a better place! Thank you all!
And we’ll keep working on iterating on these features to make them better as well as exploring other systems to improve the gameplay environment.”