Blizzard pulls disturbing Overwatch 2 custom game mode

Overwatch 2 artwork logo with Sojourn, Doomfist, and Junker Queen
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Content Warning: This story includes references to and descriptions of sexual assault

Update (October 27, 2022): Blizzard has reached out to GamesRadar+ and stated that the "game code for that custom mode is no longer active."

Original story follows...

A despicable Overwatch 2 custom game mode has been removed by Blizzard, but it could, unfortunately, resurface unless further steps are taken. As reported by PCGamer's Tyler Colp, a user-created custom game mode called "Sexual Assault Simulator" was found and shared as a warning by Twitter user Lynn MBE. According to tweets, their 12-year-old child stumbled across it while looking through Overwatch 2's custom game modes. Popular streamer and comedian Limmy then found and shared screenshots of the game mode's descriptions and lobbies.

The disgusting game mode has apparently been in Overwatch 1 since January of this year but was updated after Overwatch 2 launched this month. The description for the mode is: "This is version 1.2 of the new and unique Sexual Harassment Simulator. Find new friends, live a normal life and give birth to a child!" 

The mode forces one player to play as Cassidy against a squad of female-only Overwatch characters. On-screen instructions tell players to knock-down players using Cassidy's Overwatch 1 Flashbang ability (which is gone in the sequel), and "tbag to fuck" enemy players, with the words "raping..." appearing as you do so. This gets enemy players "pregnant" before a bot-version of Torbjorn spawns. Colp reports that the explicit language is written with spaces, presumably to get around an in-game filter. 

Colp reached out to Blizzard to ask about the mode and a spokesperson responded with: "Inappropriate or explicit content has absolutely no place in our game. We immediately removed the user-created game mode once made aware of its existence. We are continually working to improve automatic filters to prevent inappropriate user-created content, and manually removing any that are not caught by the system."

Unfortunately, Colp has confirmed that the five-digit code associated with the mode is still available, so any ill-intentioned player could presumably start up another public match and re-list it in the custom mode section. And since there are already comments under YouTube videos of the deplorable mode asking for code (which we will not link here), this issue clearly isn't fully resolved. "In this case, Blizzard's moderation appears to be limited," Colp writes. "It doesn't seem to include banning custom game codes, nor does it seem to fully filter offensive words out of the text within them. It's also unclear if the original creator has received any sort of punishment."

I've reached out to Blizzard PR for clarification about their restrictions and filters for custom games, but have yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.