Overwatch 2 removes requirement for mobile phone number on legacy accounts



Amidst Overwatch 2's launch troubles, Blizzard is backtracking on one of its more controversial decisions. Initially, all Overwatch 2 players were required to give their mobile phone numbers as part of Blizzard's SMS Protect program. This program would verify new accounts through a mobile phone number in order to stop "disruptive behaviour" and to prevent banned accounts from simply re-registering (since Overwatch 2 is now free-to-play).

In an interview with Forbes last week, Overwatch 2 lead software engineer Bill Warnecke acknowledged that the program may be too strict and that it is "totally reasonable" for players to want more than one account, but that stopping bad actors is more important. He also confirmed that Blizzard would block pay-as-you-go and VOIP numbers.

“There's some cases where a totally good player, someone who has no bad intentions, no cheating intentions, may be negatively impacted by SMS Protect if you have multiple accounts,” Warnecke said. “This is a barrier for a legitimate player. It's one that we took really seriously and deliberated a lot on as we discussed adding this feature.

The fan reaction to this news was overwhelmingly negative. There were concerns about privacy issues, as well as the lack of options for those without a mobile phone. One reddit user felt "ashamed" that he could only afford a prepaid phone plan and that "Blizzard is the first company to make me feel too poor to play a game." The program has also affected parents who may have more than one child who plays the game and doesn't have a mobile device.

Now, just two days after its launch, Blizzard has confirmed it will disable the mobile phone requirement for certain users starting tomorrow. Any players who connect their battle.net account and have played Overwatch since June 9, 2021, will not be required to provide a phone number. While it doesn't address all of the concerns with SMS Protect, it should at least help returning Overwatch players enjoy the sequel.
 

MariArch

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Do you guys not have phones?

Jesus bro honestly idk what the big deal is about being forced to give information to big corpos like blizzard activision? They’re just trying to keep all of us safe from sexual harassers on the internet. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.
 

Jonna

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Do you guys not have phones?

Jesus bro honestly idk what the big deal is about being forced to give information to big corpos like blizzard activision? They’re just trying to keep all of us safe from sexual harassers on the internet. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.
I have 2 phones and sell phones as my job right now.

I do not advocate for this whatsoever. It is absolutely a privacy issue. Plus, I'm already getting blasted with spam and phishing texts sent to my number. I don't want my number available to any other company that doesn't have a valid, proper reason for requiring it.
 

MeleeMaster500

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not good enough, they already hardware id ban, they don't need phone verification to stop banned accounts

all this does is discriminate against low income individuals so they can sell people's information
 
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ZER-O

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wow haha, still if you had a ban on the old account, does it mean you're banned in OW2?
they did not lift the forced SMS post paid number log in, it shouild be lifted on Friday, its still asking me to register a phone number on my 6 year old accounts

as someone with multiple accoounts on every Platform and was banned 5 times on each at least, i can answer that, you can still log in in OW2
there are account bans and 1 week to 30 days account bans, you get permenant account Ban if you get suspended 2 times in a row in 2 competetive seasons back to back

you can get 1 month suspention just for insulting someone in Team chat or cursing them
or get suspended by trolls who decide to mass report you for not playing the hero they want or refusing to switch off it

i have never seen someone get Permenant account closure, and now they claim they will use the phoe number to prevent abusers and smurfs from returning to the game!

they added the post paid phones to combat the Smurfs, this is funny and ironic, in a few days all the smurf who bought 6 accounts and was de ranking their accounts all year long will sell their Legacy smurf accounts for over 50$ thanks to Blizxzard allowing Legacy accounts to bypass SMS protection, before OV2 you could buy a smurf account for 45$

the smurfing and throwing and people playing as 1 player with their 5 bots controlled from one PC was a pleague on overwatch for 6 years, imagine free to play new smurfs and trolls still thriving in destroying competetive mode for anyone who doesnt haver a full premade group

Playstation and Xbox had the issue of making infinite free overwatch accounts by creating additional gameer profiles and tethering the license from your main account with purchased OV
 
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MariArch

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I have 2 phones and sell phones as my job right now.

I do not advocate for this whatsoever. It is absolutely a privacy issue. Plus, I'm already getting blasted with spam and phishing texts sent to my number. I don't want my number available to any other company that doesn't have a valid, proper reason for requiring it.
(/s)
 

k7ra

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OW2 is shit, I run it 15 times and always have to wait ppl to enter game menu? Just wow, 1st one don't have this problem and now I can't play quick match, need to wait...
And when you change graphic settings you need rerun game to wait again! Awesome experience!
Not to mention SLI bug thing, where textures do what they want (existed in 1st one and same here)
BUT now you can't fix it for now
 

Bladexdsl

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Do you guys not have phones?

Jesus bro honestly idk what the big deal is about being forced to give information to big corpos like blizzard activision? They’re just trying to keep all of us safe from sexual harassers on the internet. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.
it's not about having a phone they were blocking people unless they had a real phone plan. a lot of pre paid plans were not accepted. this was a dick move.
 

AkiraKurusu

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Yeah, okay, so you're only gonna remove the barrier for old fans - what about those drawn in anew? You're just gonna leave 'em out to hang, huh?

Classic fricking Blizzard; go get snowed under and get hypothermia already.
Post automatically merged:

Anybody remember the "Real ID" fiasco where they were wanting to display your actual full name as your username? The last of their management with any common sense quit after the release of Burning Crusade (original, not "classic").
Maybe that's why it was called "Burning Crusade", come to think; would be rather apt.
 

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