Activision has made some notable moves in its effort to combat toxicity in Call of Duty: Warzone and other games in the series, including the implementation of filters to catch potentially offensive player names, clan tags, and text chat, and bans of more than 350,000 Call of Duty accounts for "for racist names or toxic behavior" over the past year. There's more to come: In an update posted today, Activision said it intends to expand player reporting options and moderation, and will also take steps to cut back on toxic behavior over voice chat.
"Our goal is to give players the tools needed to manage their own gameplay experience, combined with an enforcement approach that addresses hate speech, racism, sexism and harassment," Activision said. Specifically, that means more resources dedicated to detecting and stopping bad behavior, ongoing reviews of enforcement policies, "scrubbing databases to bring systems up to current standards," and more and better communications with players.
350,000 account bans is impressive, although well short of the 475,000 that have been banned over the past year for cheating. What's more interesting in today's message, though, is the promise to crack down on toxic voice chat, which is a trickier challenge than monitoring text-based comms. In-game voice has largely escaped oversight as a result.
Riot, though, recently announced plans to begin recording all voice comms in Valorant so that it can verify complaints of abusive behavior in voice chat. Valorant players who find the scheme invasive can opt out, but will not be able to use voice chat if they do. Activision didn't reveal anything about how (or when) it plans to tackle voice-based toxicity, but it could be looking into a similar approach for Warzone and other Call of Duty games in the future.
"We know we have a long way to go to reach our goals. This is just the start," Activision said. "Addressing this is an ongoing commitment that we will not waiver from. We look forward to making progress on this front and coming together with you to share in the fun and joy of playing together."