The Defense Matrix initiative is being rolled out to combat toxic behavior.


Overwatch 2 Rolls Out Defense Matrix Initiative That Records In-Game Voice Chat

Nutan Lele
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Blizzard has started temporarily recording player transcripts to weed out toxic behavior.
If a player is reported, a temporary audio recording will be used to make a text file transcript through speech-to-text programs.

Overwatch 2 has finally started implementing its Defense Matrix program, the audio transcription feature which is designed to reduce toxic behavior in voice chat. Blizzard Entertainment announced the feature in a blog post back in September as a way to "protect the integrity of gameplay and promote positive behavior in Overwatch 2". The feature was officially rolled out in a limited PC release during the game’s 17th November update in select countries. 

How the Defense Matrix initiative works 

The developer said in the post, “As a piece of our Defense Matrix initiative, audio transcriptions allow us to analyze a transcript from a temporary voice chat recording of a reported player.” Players will see a notification when entering voice chat for the first time during their play session, indicating that their voice chat may be recorded. If a player is reported, a temporary audio recording will be used to make a text file transcript through speech-to-text programs. According to Blizzard, no one listens to the temporary audio recording. The text file is analyzed for disruptive behavior by the developer’s chat review tool and will quickly be deleted after being transcribed. These transcripts are only made for public voice channels, which include team and match chat. Group “party” chats are excluded from the program. Blizzard is relying on Overwatch 2 players to report disruptive behavior to make the feature more effective. 

SMS protect expanded to pre-paid phones

Blizzard has also expanded SMS protection access to pre-paid phones. In a forum post, it said that this change doesn’t affect any current Overwatch 2 accounts, regardless if they have SMS Protect or are exempt because they own a previous Overwatch game license. Initially, Blizzard had made it mandatory for all players across all platforms, including consoles, to have a phone number attached to their account to launch Overwatch 2. Note that your phone number must be registered in the same country as your account.

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Nutan is experienced with content across various FPS, MOBA, and BR titles for both PC and mobile gaming. Basically, she's a Jill of all trades. As the former captain of an all-woman esports team, her roots lie firmly in PC gaming but she does enjoy that one map in Call of Duty: Mobile.

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