Overwatch 2 SMS Protection Being Removed by Blizzard

Overwatch 2 SMS Protection Being Removed by Blizzard
Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Following the report of continued DDOS attacks against Overwatch 2 servers, Blizzard has provided an update to the game’s launch, including removing the controversial Overwatch 2 SMS protection. 

Many Overwatch fans were upset that the mandatory two-step authentication punished those who used certain prepaid phone services. Blizzard’s authentication requirements didn’t align with those prepaid phone plans, resulting in many fans being unable to play the game.

An update on the Overwatch forums goes into further detail. 

We designed Overwatch 2 to be a live service, which enables us to be responsive to a variety of player feedback. We have made the decision to remove phone number requirements for a majority of existing Overwatch players. Any Overwatch player with a connected account, which includes all players who have played since June 9, 2021, will not have to provide a phone number to play. We are working to make this change and expect it to go live on Friday, October 7. We will update players once it is in effect.

We remain committed to combating disruptive behavior in Overwatch 2—accounts that were not connected to as well as new accounts will still have to meet SMS Protect requirements, which helps to ensure we’re protecting our community against cheating. If a player is caught engaging in disruptive behavior, their account may be banned whether they have a new account or not.

As a team, we will keep listening to ongoing feedback and will make further adjustments in this area if it is required.

Source: Blizzard
The Overwatch 2 launch has been a rough experience
Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

The forum post dives into further issues beyond removing the Overwatch 2 SMS protection. Blizzard addresses the current problems with server queues and stability. They give an official summation, saying that they have already addressed some issues while continuing to manage others, but players should still expect to encounter queues.

A more in-depth explanation details how the queues, crashes, and server stability are all tied together. Due to the game’s popularity, Blizzard notes that “the player database is being overloaded, which cascades and causes a backup in the login system, which eventually leads to some people being dropped out of queues or unable to log in at all.”

One of the bigger issues beyond hiccups with the Overwatch 2 SMS protection was issues with account merge. “We’ve determined that the cause for this discrepancy in approximately half of reported cases is players having not yet completed their account merge,” Blizzard states. “This is understandable—one cause for this is due to a bug with the launch build not providing an account merge prompt on some consoles. We rolled out a partial UI fix earlier today to help some console players progress through the account merge flow, however, we are still working on fixes for additional UI issues.”

Blizzard has been hard at work trying to smooth out the launch of Overwatch 2. Removing the Overwatch 2 SMS protection is a step in the right direction to allow more people to play the game they enjoy. Next up on the list is tackling the server issues.

In more Overwatch news, expect the franchise to appear on Xbox Game Pass when the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard is finalized.


Written by Jake Valentine

I am the Editor-In-Chief of BossLevelGamer. I'm also a lover of video games, food, and beer.

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