As part of its yearly ‘Xbox Transparency Report’ Microsoft states that nearly 4.8 million accounts were suspended from Xbox services in early 2022.
Microsoft’s latest ‘Xbox Transparency Report’ reveals that almost 4.8 million accounts were suspended from Xbox services in the first half of 2022 through a mix of proactive and reactive moderation. As Microsoft continues to grow the Xbox Game Pass service and attract new gamers to the Xbox platform, ensuring that gamers can enjoy an online experience free from harassment and cheating has become a priority for the company.
In order to try to counteract the rampant cheating and harassment that seems to come with any online gaming platform, Microsoft uses a mix of proactive and reactive moderation on Xbox services. Proactive moderation allows Microsoft to automatically identify issues like cheating and fake accounts, whereas reactive moderation occurs in response to complaints issued by Xbox users. If the pending acquisition of Activision by Microsoft is approved by regulators, it is likely to bring a flood of new users to Xbox services and increase the challenges of moderating such an expansive platform.
As part of its annual ‘Xbox Transparency Report’, Microsoft has shared data regarding its enforcement of community standards across Xbox services. In addition to highlighting options users have for limiting what they and their family are exposed to on Xbox, such as granulated parental controls, the report includes the number of enforcement actions undertaken on the platform. This data shows that just under 4.8 million accounts were banned from Xbox in the first half of 2022, with the majority of the bans resulting from cheating or using a fake accounts. Continuing to remove fake accounts and cheaters from the platform could go a long way towards helping Xbox CEO Phil Spencer deliver on his promise of a stronger 2023 for the brand.
In addition to bans for cheating or fake accounts, some users received proactive bans for violating rules regarding sexual content, fraud, bullying, and other infractions. These sorts of bans made up only a small percentage of the overall total. The most reassuring takeaway of the report for many gamers may be that 99.9% of players banned for cheating or using a fake account were caught by proactive moderation, meaning they were automatically banned before they could ruin the experience of other players. This type of platform-level moderation combined with anti-cheat functionality built directly into games, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2‘s phone number requirement, can help drastically improve gamers’ experience when playing online.
It’s clear from this massive purge of problematic players that Microsoft is dedicated to delivering a positive online experience for its users, free from cheating and harassment. While no moderation system will likely ever be able to eliminate all of the bad actors online, by combining smart software and user reporting Microsoft has managed to eliminate some of the most egregious offenders and hopefully make online gaming on Xbox more fun for everyone.