Xbox Introduces Enforcement Strike System

Xbox provided information about their Enforcement Strike System. The purpose appears to be a means of giving players, who are doing things Xbox doesn’t like, to have a penalty.

From the blog post:

We are constantly improving our safety measures and bringing more systems and tools in place that empower players to respectfully interact with one another – because everyone deserves a place to comfortably be themselves online, free from harassment and bullying.

One of the most common questions we get from players though feedback, posts, and appeals is how repeated enforcements impact their gameplay, how they escalate, what they escalate to, and how they know when their account is back in good standing. To help address this, we are introducing a new enforcement strike system.

The new system attaches strikes to every enforcement, ranging in severity based on inappropriate activity. Each player will now have a view of their enforcement history including strikes and the overall impact these have on their player record.

This revised system gives players a better understanding of enforcement severity and the cumulative effect of multiple enforcements, Enforcement transparency is about giving players clarity into how their behavior impacts their new enforcement strike system.

…With the new system, enforcements will also include strikes based on the severity of their actions. The system is similar to demerit strikes used in driver’s license systems in many countries. For example, a player who has received two strikes will be suspended for seven days. Players have a total of eight strikes and, once reached, will be suspended from Xbox’s social features like messaging, parties and party chat, multiplayer and others for one year from the enforcement date. All strikes received stay on a player’s record for six months.

Today, players will all begin with a black slate, or zero strikes. Any previous enforcements such as suspensions, must still be completed; new enforcement as of today will result in strikes…

Gizmodo reported: Sorry gamers, Xbox says you will need to behave. Starting today (Tuesday) Xbox will be cracking down on its Community Standards by rolling out eight-strike policy that should help curb abusive behavior while educating players about their own rap sheet.

According to Gizmodo, the new system also lets users take a peek at their own disciplinary record. The enforcement history interface will show a play how many strikes they have as well as why they received those strikes. The menu will also have a handy link to the platform’s Community Standards so users can brush up to prevent repeat offenses.

Gizmodo also reported that different offenses carry different numbers of strikes – Dave McCarthy, CVP Xbox Player Services, likened this to driver’s license point programs. A graphic in the blog illustrates some examples: profanity is one strike, sexually inappropriate behavior is two strikes, and hate speech is three strikes. Players will also be able to appeal strikes.

Personally, I think it is a good idea for Xbox to not only create a new Enforcement Strike System, but also to enforce it. Nobody wants to jump into a game on Xbox and be harassed by some random angry player. What happens when those players reach eight strikes? My best guess is that they will move to PlayStation or other consoles, and harass players over there instead.