Blizzard has banned thousands of Overwatch players who were reported for cheating or hacking into the game from PvP play, according to an announcement on the Battle.net forum.
The exact number of players who were banned isn’t clear, but in a post on the Chinese Battle.net forums, Blizzard listed the tags of around 1,500 users who had been banned from the game for violating the game’s anti-cheating policies. A similar post was made on the United States site’s board, but did not list the names of any banned accounts.
On May 13, before Overwatch was released, Blizzard announced that anyone who was caught hacking into or cheating in the game would be permanently banned from playing it, citing their desire to keep the game for everyone.
“Not only does cheating undermine the spirit of fair play that all of our products are based on, but it works to diminish the fun and enjoyment of others.” said Blizzard community manager Stephanie Johnson in the post.
While Blizzard is clearly following a precedent they set for themselves by banning these accounts (and good for them for sticking to their guns), they did contradict their earlier statement partially. The May 13th post also claimed that Blizzard was “unlikely to publicly acknowledge when accounts are closed as a result of cheating or using unauthorized programs”.
All in all, though, it’s a good thing that Blizzard is being strict and consistent about the type of community they want Overwatch to have. Considering that other similar games have, at times, developed communities that are rife with people exploiting the game and making it less fun for everyone else, it’s definitely a positive that Blizzard knows exactly what kind of community it wants to build for Overwatch, and that they are not compromising that vision.