In a move that isn’t surprising at all. Blizzard and the personnel responsible for Overwatch have publicly condemned, issued an official warning, and then taken action against recent undesirable actions taken by certain players in the game who are ‘gaming the system’ so-to-speak.
The exact action that is causing this current controversy is the fact that certain unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of the new Custom Game Browser wherein they can let their game go ‘idle’ and become ‘inactive’ for prolonged periods of time knowing full well that the game will not ‘kick’ them for said inactivity and that, instead, the game will reward those same players with more XP even for doing nothing.
Blizzard has taken note of this, and the Overwatch Game Director himself, Jeff Kaplan, has officially made a statement that reads as following:
“We knew that there was the potential for this system to be exploited but we wanted to give everyone the benefit of the doubt before becoming overly restrictive with the system,” Kaplan said. “It’s very disappointing to us that players abused the system to gain experience while inactive. As some of you have noticed, Skirmish in Custom Game no longer rewards experience. Also, the AFK timer is now in place in Skirmish mode (in Custom Game only). This change is rolling out over a 24 hour period and should be live in all regions by the end of today.”
However, this is only the first step in a series of moves that the company intends to take in order to curb this type of dishonest behavior. Kaplan has also made it known that the company does, indeed, have an “internal escalation plan” for situations such as this and that this most recent decision is really only just the “very first steps on that path”.
Fortunately, Blizzard is adopting a policy of open transparency and have also made it known that the final step in eliminating this problem would be to simply just discontinue rewarding players with experience points for Custom Games completely a surefire endgame, of that there is no doubt.
Only time will tell if this issue will need to be escalated that far.