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Overwatch Director Comments on Demanding Fans; Sometimes Dealing With Them Is “Downright Scary”

 

Overwatch’s community is one of the most active and passionate communities in the gaming industry, and sometimes handling a community of that size can be hard, even for a company of the size of Blizzard.

Overwatch Head Chief Jeff Kaplan responded to a fan’s forum post, who was wondering if the team is understaffed to handle Overwatch’s regular updates and maintenance. Kaplan’s response was rather open and honest, describing situations where the team has to deal with demanding fans as “scary.”

From Day 1, we wanted to be a development team that communicated openly with our player base. […] And if you’ll allow me to speak openly for a moment — it’s scary. Overall, the community is awesome to us. But there are some pretty mean people out there. All of our developers are free to post on these forums. Very few of us actually do because it’s extremely intimidating and/or time consuming. It’s very easy to post the wrong thing and make a ‘promise’ to the community that no one intended to make.

Also, because we are open with you and do not hide behind an anonymous handle (like all of you have the luxury of doing), we often times get personally attacked and threatened. Most great developers I know just love being head’s down making or playing games. The ‘public speaking/posting’ part of the job is downright scary and intimidating. It often feels like there is no winning. […] It’s not exactly what I would call a safe environment for creative people to openly express their thoughts and feelings.

He continued to express his pride and thanked the community for their support even before Overwatch was released to the public.

The day we announced Overwatch, the game belonged to a large community. And we truly do see ourselves as the custodians — not overlords — of the game and community. […] We – the team – care about literally every experience that has anything to do with OW. We care about where a button on the screen goes, what sound it makes, what color it is. We care about what the email says to a player who has just been banned. We care about constantly trying to improve ping times worldwide and server up time. We care about what Mei says when she is sad. We care about all 26 heroes equally.

What do you think of Kaplan’s statement?

GR

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