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OverwatchJul 19, 2018 2:00 pm CT

Endorsements and LFG are bringing down player toxicity in Overwatch

Overwatch beta

If you’ve played Overwatch only to have a game ruined by a fellow player being abusive or antagonistic, you may be happy to hear that the statistics say that kind of behavior is declining — and it may be due to the new Endorsements and LFG rolled out recently. Jeff Kaplan, the Game Director on Overwatch better known to many as “Jeff from the Overwatch team” recently posted to the forums that, after the game added the new Endorsement system and Looking for Group, it appears that harassing and abusive behavior is down in the game.

Originally Posted by Jeff Kaplan (Official Post)

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.

Now, of course correlation is not causation, and it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that people being nicer overall is not related to the rollout of these features. But it doesn’t seem likely. Rather, the idea of Endorsements seems to be the carrot that was needed alongside the stick of various punishments for being abusive to fellow players. Now there’s not just something to lose if you act out, there’s the Endorsement system providing you with something (even if it’s not really something you can tangibly point at as a benefit to you) when you’re not a jerk.

This makes me wish World of Warcraft had the Endorsement system. I had so many bad LFG’s that could have been a lot better with something like this giving people an incentive to be less toxic. Although I still don’t know why that one person did that thing.

As for what iteration the systems will see to improve them, I have no idea. Jeff has previously mentioned the possibility for rewards to people who make endorsements using the system, and that would be nice — maybe nothing huge, just a little thing that would give players that contribute to the system a reward for doing so.

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