Like most online games that exist in that place we call The Net
, Overwatch isn't the only experience to fall victim to the rise of toxic behaviour among the community. Like with most titles, account bans and reporting arrived onto the Overwatch scene post-launch. But, Blizzard and the Overwatch team also introduced a new Endorsement system last year. Where positive reinforcement and rewarding good behaviour has made a major impact.
At GDC last week, as reported by Variety
, Blizzard was on hand to confirm that due to its efforts and the introduction of the Endorsement system the tracking of toxic behaviour has seen a decline by 40%. Research scientist Natasha Miller, who worked with Blizzard, defined toxic of disruptive behaviour as, "Any negative behavior that disrupts the core intention of the game. It’s things like intentionally losing a game, typing or saying horrible things in chat or on mic, or being away from the keyboard during a game."
In conducting the research to see the effect Blizzard and Natasha also discovered that players mostly felt the reasoning for the improvement was due to the Endorsement system. Although at GDC Natasha Miller noted that the data here "was close".