The beta period for Overwatch has officially come to an end. With almost ten million people logging on to take part in the event, Blizzard has to feel good about the prospects of launch day, which is on May 24. Towards the end of the event, though, there were some questions from players that wanted to know how Blizzard were going to handle cheaters, because we all know it's going to happen. The community manager for Blizzard, Lylirra, made it as clear as possible in a blog post on Battle.net:
We’ve always taken cheating in Blizzard games very seriously, and that stance is no different for Overwatch. “Play nice; play fair” is one of our core values as a company, and it’s something we’ve taken to heart not only when designing the game, but also as we’ve developed our plans to support it and our players after launch.
What does this mean for Overwatch? If a player is found to be cheating—or using hacks, bots, or third-party software that provides any sort of unfair advantage—that player will be permanently banned from the game. Full stop. Not only does cheating undermine the spirit of fair play that all of our products are based on, but it works to diminish the fun and enjoyment of others. While we are unlikely to publicly acknowledge when accounts are closed as a result of cheating or using unauthorized programs, we have and will continue to monitor Overwatch for exploitative behavior, as well as take action as needed to preserve the integrity of game.
These assertions aren’t new or groundbreaking for Blizzard, but they’re important and serve as a reminder of our commitment to delivering epic gameplay experiences. For us, it’s not just about creating awesome games, but about supporting those games and their communities for years to come. The upcoming launch of Overwatch on May 24 is in many ways just the beginning, and we’re doing all that we can to prepare for that milestone and (perhaps more importantly) what comes after—not just in terms of new game content, but also how we can ensure a fair and equitable play environment for everyone.
Simply put, if you cheat and you get caught? You're done. Period. It's a zero tolerance party to make sure that everyone is on an even playing field and skill will determine who the best is.
Botters and cheaters are still going to happen and, yes, you'll have to report them in order to make sure that they are actually breaking the rules, but make no mistake about this: Blizzard has zero interest in dealing with cheating and is going to drop the banhammer on everyone who does it.