"Next evolution" in cheat detection wants to shut down Overwatch cheaters for good

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has revealed Blizzard will automatically shut down matches if it detects a cheater at play.

In the latest Overwatch developer update, Kaplan cautioned players that Blizzard intended "to do some things a bit differently this summer", including some new quality-of-life tweaks that bring "improved detection" that he believes is "the next evolution in cheat detection in the game".

"Now we will automatically shut down a match where we detect cheating is happening," Kaplan said, after confirming the tech was already live on the Private Test Server (PTR) (thanks, Eurogamer). "We will make sure that nobody on either side of the match is penalised for that match being shut down.

"So if you're in a competitive match, you won't lose [Skill Rating] if a cheater's on the other team or a cheater's on your team, and very harsh actions are happening against that cheater, you can be assured." 

Kaplan didn't exemplify exactly what those harsh actions will be - nor how the cheat detection system works in practice - but being unable to complete a match will hopefully be a strong enough deterrent to keep cheats away from Overwatch.

If you're waiting on Overwatch hero 31, brace yourself - you might have to wait a little longer than usual. Kaplan added that while hero 31 is most certainly on the way, "he is going to be released a little bit later than you're used to". 

"He'll be here soon enough, so don't worry," Kaplan said. "We think a little bit of extra time is going to make the hero even more awesome." 

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.