Blizzard on Protecting Overwatch 2

With Overwatch 2 launching next week, Blizzard offers a Prepare for Launch post to make sure you're all set. Also, a post from Blizzard announces the Defense Matrix program for the shooter sequel. Named after a signature D.Va ability, this is a plan for protecting the game's integrity, despite it being free-to-play. This includes the requirement of a working phone number attached to a Battle.net account to download and play the game. There are a number of additional measures, including the removal of General Chat, a new First-Time User Experience, a new ping system, and more. As for new players, they must win 50 quickplay matches before playing competitive mode, and existing Overwatch heroes must be unlocked, a process estimated to be 100 games. Word is: "Defense Matrix is an important milestone for our anti-cheating and disruptive behavior plans for Overwatch 2. As the game grows, so will our efforts maintain the long-term health of Overwatch. We’ll constantly be working to improve and grow our Defense Matrix to ensure that Overwatch 2 is a fun, fair, and safe game for everyone." For those who daring enough to join game voice chat, every word said in chat will be recorded and transcribed for accountability. There is a reassurance that these chat logs will not be stored long-term:
For years, our team has used machine learning to detect and prevent disruptive behavior, cheating, and disruptive text chat. Our detection methods leverage multiple systems, including your in-game reports, to identify behavior that drives down the quality of the in-game experience. We’re expanding our detection capabilities by introducing audio transcriptions in the following weeks after launch.

Audio transcriptions allow us to collect a temporary voice chat recording of a reported player and automatically transcribe it through speech to text programs. The text file is then analyzed for disruptive behavior by our chat review tools. Once the audio recording has been transcribed to text, it’s quickly deleted as the file’s sole purpose is to identify potentially disruptive behavior. The text file is then deleted no later than 30 days after the audio transcription.

This system relies on players reporting disruptive behavior as soon as they encounter it in game because we do not store voice chat data long term. This means you should report disruptive behavior as it’s occurring in-game to give us the best chance at detecting, catching, and preventing disruptive players. Your reports matter—player reporting is one of the most effective methods for identifying and actioning disruptive behavior as quickly as possible.