Xbox boss Phil Spencer has stated that Microsoft would like to help combat bad actors, toxic players, and cheaters through a multi-network system that bans them. For example, if a player does something on Xbox that constitutes being banned from their platform that this system would then allow for lists of these banned players to be shared between say PlayStation or PC.
While speaking to the New York Times, Spencer acknowledged that this would be a “hard one” to fully achieve but that he hopes to see a similar system in the future “Something I would love us to be able to do–this is a hard one as an industry–is when somebody gets banned in one of our networks, is there a way for us to ban them across other networks?”
He stated that alternatively that he would support a system where players could bring their banned user list to another platform, saying “And I’d love to be able to bring them to other networks where I play. So this is the group of people that I choose not to play with. Because I don’t want to have to recreate that in every platform that I play video games on.”
Spencer also discussed during this interview how Microsoft uses AI on its Xbox platform to “monitor the sentiment of a conversation” to determine “when a conversation is getting to a destructive point.” There is also an easy feature to report playing on the systems AI.
Activision’s Call of Duty franchise already implements a multi-platform ban strategy. When a player is caught participating in bannable offenses such as harassment or cheating, they receive a ban on their Activision account that blocks them across all systems and not just the one they were initially banned on.
Obviously, in terms of what Phil Spencer is discussing, it would require companies like Sony or Valve to come together with Microsoft to build the system across all their networks which is a very tall order. However, years ago the thought of cross-play was largely a pipe dream so there is always the possibility of a system like this being implemented moving forward.