Overwatch 2 is infuriating many players over a new anti-cheat system, called SMS Protect, which is effectively keeping anyone with prepaid telephone numbers, even those who owned Overwatch. In fact, the latter find themselves with nothing, since in the meantime the servers of the first chapter have been shut down.
Blizzard’s FAQ on this is quite clear:
“Starting October 4, 2022, all players on all platforms, including consoles, will need to have a phone number linked to their battle.net account in order to play Overwatch 2. The same phone number cannot be used on multiple accounts at the same time and players cannot use the same phone number to create new accounts. A phone number can only be used once when creating a new account and some types of numbers, including prepaid and VOIP numbers, cannot be used for SMS Protect. “
They also specify that: “Even if you have an older version of Overwatch, SMS Protect must be activated to play Overwatch 2.”
This choice will certainly be effective in the fight against cheater, but a large portion of users, who use services such as Cricket Wireless, simply cannot play. Many don’t want or can’t get a phone subscription just for Overwatch 2.
Some messages posted on social media have also underlined how this choice goes to penalize some of the less well-off users, like that of RLmclovin on Reddit: “I have Cricket Wireless. It’s what my family can afford. What else can I say? family to change it for a video game. I can’t play Overwatch and it makes me sad. I’ve been playing for years with friends and family, now I can’t do it anymore because of my phone contract. I’m really angry and ashamed not to achieve this standard. I never thought I’d never be able to play Overwatch anymore because I can’t afford another phone subscription, but there you have it … Blizzard is the first company to make me feel poor by preventing me from playing a video game. “