‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ Uses Blizzard’s Controversial SMS Protect System

When the next Call of Duty arrives on October 28, fans will need to connect a phone number to their Battle.net account to play the game. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, newly created Overwatch 2 accounts, and newly created Call of Duty: Modern Warfare accounts require a phone number,” says a recently updated support page noted by PC Gamer.

The news of the requirement comes after a week of controversy surrounding SMS Protect, the phone connectivity system used by Overwatch 2 and soon to be Modern Warfare II. After a bumpy launch where a DDoS attack prevented many from playing Overwatch 2 on release day, Blizzard announced it would be scaling back the requirement. Where the studio previously said that all players must link a phone number to their Battle.net account, that requirement now only applies to new Overwatch players. In part, the system was controversial because “certain prepaid” numbers could not be used with SMS Protect. Before Friday, players with service from mobile carriers such as Cricket Wireless found they could not play the game.

At this point, it’s unclear whether all Warzone 2.0 players will need a mobile phone number to play that game once it arrives on November 16. Since 2020, Infinity Ward requires all free-to-play Warzone users on PC to go through a two-factor authentication process. Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for clarification and comment.

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