As anyone who's played a couple of matches will tell you, Overwatch and toxicity go hand-in-hand. Have a bad match? Get ready for the hate messages. Hell, as soon as you see that defeat screen, you're better off leaving the game immediately, just so you don't see the inevitable argument in chat. However, fans think it's gotten even worse in Overwatch 2, and blame it on the fact it's now free-to-play.
Since Overwatch 2's free launch on October 4, players are reporting an increase in hostile and even outright abusive messages. With very little change between the first Overwatch and the sequel, fans are blaming this uptick in toxicity on the fact that it's gone free-to-play, both because of the increased playerbase, and the fact that everyone is trying to unlock skins through weekly challenges that rely on wins.
This discussion was promoted by Reddit user Malina_Island over in r/Overwatch, who shared that their teammates have become more toxic since the release of Overwatch 2.
"In just one day I had more toxic players in my chat than in my whole OW1 Era," says Malina_Island. "People seem to feel really attacked by reading someone trying to be positive."
While many argue that the first Overwatch had plenty of toxicity of its own, others agree, and believe it's caused by Overwatch 2's free-to-play economy.
"I blame Blizzard for it," says user cruel_frames. "The challenge system relying on wins exclusively contributes to people getting frustrated when their teammates aren't so tryhard and play for fun."
"Unfortunately toxicity just comes with the territory on F2P games," agrees chrono_ark. "Not really looking forward to seeing the state of things in a couple months."
This increased toxicity has also been noted on the official Overwatch forum. In a lengthy post, user DeadBolt documents the abuse they've received since Overwatch 2 went live, which at its most extreme has involved being told to "get a noose".
Players can be reported in-game for this behaviour, but it remains to be seen if Blizzard feels that it has to implement even more measures to counter abuse. It is yet to respond to these claims of increased toxicity in its game.
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