The upcoming Modern Warfare 2 release promises to bring Call of Duty back to the modern era with its next multiplayer game, but it also requires you have a phone number attached to play. On the surface this might not seem too egregious, but Blizzard’s Battle.net website has some odd clarifications that are going to lock a significant number of people out of the FPS game for no justifiable reason.
In a phone notifications article, it’s noted that a “phone number [is] required to access certain games,” which includes Modern Warfare 2, newly created Overwatch 2 accounts, and newly created Modern Warfare accounts as well. On the surface, using phone numbers to help identify real players over bots, and to add a level of protection via two factor authentication, is a good thing. Sadly the execution for the Modern Warfare 2 release will lock many players out of these games all together.
The article says that “mobile phones with prepaid plans may not work with the phone notification service,” meaning that if you don’t have a month-to-month contract, and instead pay for credit on your phone, you might not even be able to create a Modern Warfare 2 account when the game launches, and thus not play the game.
To top it off, only one phone number can be attached per Battle.net account, with there seemingly being no current way to actually get another number on there or easily change it in time for the Modern Warfare 2 release. According to another official article, “limiting the number of free accounts that a single person can create helps keep players accountable for their actions and, in turn, reduces toxicity and cheating and ensures a positive community experience for all players.”
Overwatch 2 suffered from a similar problem during its recent launch as well, with Blizzard stepping in to make some minor changes to the phone verification system after feedback. The studio removed the phone number requirements for a “majority of existing Overwatch players,” meaning any players with an account from June 9, 2021, will not need a phone number to play.
That said, new Overwatch 2 and Modern Warfare 2 accounts still require a phone number, meaning a large chunk of new players will come up against the issue depending on their phone contracts.
It remains to be seen if these phone security decisions will be reversed by Activision Blizzard, but it’s safe to say that right now, while being implemented to reduce toxicity, they will be limiting groups of players from the Modern Warfare 2 release and Overwatch 2.
You can find all the information about the Modern Warfare 2 phone requirements on the official Battle.net blog page (spotted by CharlieIntel).
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