Only days after Blizzard Entertainment axed its SMS Protect system from Overwatch 2 following a huge outcry, it’s been revealed that the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 game will also have a phone number requirement if you want to take part in the game’s multiplayer. This is confirmed on Blizzard’s support page on their website.
Blizzard’s SMS Protect system is essentially a way to protect player accounts from being hacked into by less-trustworthy people. Unfortunately, despite the studio’s intentions it caused a great deal of outrage when implemented to Overwatch 2, mainly because players who didn’t have mobile phones suddenly found themselves unable to play.
Having a Modern Warfare 2 phone requirement is likely going to lead to similar outrage, though only time will tell how Blizzard reacts to it. They removed SMS Protect from Overwatch 2 within a few days, and it’s too soon between the games’ releases for them to forget a lesson like that.
What makes the phone number requirement even worse is that the game won’t accept prepaid phone numbers either. While it’s likely to prevent burner phones, many people use prepaid phone plans because they’re cheaper than a normal plan. Whether or not these sorts of plans work is also inconsistent, and can even negatively affect a number if it’s ever been part of a prepaid plan.
With luck, Blizzard and Activision will adjust SMS Protect’s terms in order to make it easier for people with nonstandard phones to access the games. With how large the Call of Duty multiplayer audience is, if people aren’t going to be able to access online matches because they don’t have phones, the backlash is going to be enormous, to say nothing of how low the player numbers might get.
But, however it goes, all we can do is wait and see just how well it works out for Blizzard. Modern Warfare 2 is hotly anticipated, and it’s extremely important that the launch go smoothly. Modern Warfare 2 will be launching on October 28 of this year for the Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.