Ubisoft is taking extra effort to rein in “toxic” behavior among the more than 25 million registered players of . In a blog post last night, the company laid out new policies and procedures for limiting hate speech and antisocial in-game behavior in the game, though many of those changes won’t go into effect until later this year.
The core of the changes centers around players using “racial or homophobic slurs, or hate speech,” defined by the game’s Code of Conduct as language that’s “illegal, dangerous, threatening, abusive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, racist, sexist, ethically offensive, or constituting harassment.”
Following on a Reddit post from last month, Ubisoft says it is now actively tracking how often individual players violate this policy and will be issuing bans ranging from two days to permanent. Rather than always starting with a slap on the wrist for first offenses, though, Ubisoft warns that “particularly egregious offenders can be permanently banned without a warning.”
The publisher is also planning to take action against intentional team killers who take advantage of the game’s friendly fire to cause grief and ruin the intended game experience for others. A new detection system will catch more offenders that kill teammates across multiple games, the company says, finding those that “slip through the cracks” under the current system.
Players will also soon have the ability to mute either or both of the text and voice chat for other players in their matches, giving more “direct control over communication channels.” And an upcoming automated system soon promises to filter out offensive words from text chat, warning players who use such language and taking “action as necessary” against repeat offenders. Both of these features won’t be implemented until this year’s “Season 3” update, expected to roll out this summer.
follows the recent example of games like and and services like Xbox Live, which have been taking stricter stances on trolling and hate speech of late. Proactive steps like these are becoming more and more important as game makers like Ubisoft increasingly see long-term player engagement with constantly updated online games as key to making more profits going forward.