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Published: September 12, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Over a quarter of a million accounts have been suspended for cheating over the past year
  • The devs also make big changes to the game’s chat filtering system
  • Blizzard is also cracking down on inappropriate naming in both gamer tags and custom games

In a recent blog post, Blizzard outlined their work with their so-called Defence Matrix, which aims to make Overwatch 2 a game free of cheaters and other disruptive behavior.

More Than 250K Accounts Have Been Banned

Among the many problems Overwatch 2 has, cheaters have always been a persistent one, prompting developers Blizzard to be constantly on watch. The company has recently taken several big steps to stop this, alongside making other improvements in an attempt to make the players’ overall experience better.

Blizzard outlined its efforts against disruptive behavior, cheaters, and other negative elements in a recent Defence Matrix blog post. The devs stated they are guided by two core principles when it comes to delivering a positive experience for all players, these being keeping the game fair for everybody and creating an inclusive social experience.

Perhaps the most striking news from the blog is the sheer number of cheaters that have been banned over the past months. Since Overwatch 2 was released in October of last year, Blizzard have banned more than a quarter of a million accounts that were found to be cheating. This speaks volumes for both the overall number of cheaters that Overwatch 2 has or the efficiency of the Defense Matrix.

Blizzard Changes the Chat Filtering System

Blizzard did not only boast about this work, as the company also announced it’s continuing to improve its text chat. Previously chat messaging had three levels of filtering, intended to remove various types of crude speech for the chat: Unfiltered, Mature, which allowed for more “adult” common language, and Friendly, which removed any words identified as obscene, vulgar, or offensive.

However, with the launch of the new season, Blizzard is removing the Unfiltered text chat option from the social menu, effectively restricting most vulgar language. This seems in line with Blizzard’s previously stated goal of targeting toxicity in Overwatch 2 using the new system of the Defense Matrix.

That being said, voice chat still exists, allowing players to be crude there. However, Blizzard has been counteracting this using machine-learning algorithms to help identify, transcribe, and verify reports of disruptive voice chat. The company boasted that it has this system running effectively in most regions and will continue rolling it out worldwide in all in-game supported languages. “We’ve seen this technology correct negative behavior immediately, with many players improving their disruptive behavior after their first warning,” the company explained.

Lastly, Blizzard continues to take a stance against inappropriate naming. This includes not only gamer tags but also the names of custom games. Additionally, new players won’t be able to name custom games unless they have at least 25 unranked or arcade games played.

Blizzard concluded their blog post by urging players to report disruptive behavior when they come across, stating that it helps keep the Overwatch 2 a fun and fair game for everyone to play.

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