Blizzard has lobbied Microsoft and Sony, and encourages players to do the same.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has taken to the official Overwatch forums to confirm that the development team object to players using a mouse and keyboard on console versions of the game – but currently lack the power to prevent them from doing so.
Mouse and keyboard controls are widely considered to provide a significant advantage for a player compared to people using controllers. Peripherals designed to allow easy connection of a mouse and keyboard to consoles are becoming increasingly popular, and carry the potential to seriously disrupt what should be a level playing field for the game.
That’s not to say that Blizzard hasn’t tried to convince both Microsoft and Sony to enforce restrictions against this sort of behaviour.
“The Overwatch team objects to the use of mouse and keyboard on console,” Kaplan began in his statement last night.
“We have contacted both first-party console manufacturers and expressed our concern about the use of mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices.
“We have lobbied and will continue to lobby for first-party console manufacturers to either:
“Disallow mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices.
“Openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for ALL players
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“I encourage you to reach out to the hardware manufacturers and express your concerns (but please do so in a productive and respectful way),” he concluded.
While it’s certainly a strong statement, Kaplan’s reply does end with an element of ambiguity. If the team acknowledges that a mouse and keyboard set up is superior to a controller, would they then segregate matchmaking if Microsoft and Sony agreed to allow direct (and presumably detectable) connection of these devices?
If you’re playing on console and suspect you’re being disadvantaged by someone in this way, the best thing you can do is to voice your concern alongside Blizzard, and hope that things change in the future.