Modern Warfare 2 brings Overwatch 2’s controversial SMS Protect system

Liam Mackay
Modern Warfare 2 players in Farm 18 map

Blizzard have introduced SMS Protect with Overwatch 2 in an effort to make it more of a headache for cheaters to create several accounts. This system has proved controversial at launch, and it’s on the way to Modern Warfare 2 as well.

October is a huge month for FPS fans, with Activision Blizzard’s highly anticipated Overwatch 2 already here, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 arriving on October 28.

In an effort to combat cheaters, Activision Blizzard have introduced a new SMS Protect system, where players must have a phone number connected to their account to play their games. Blizzard confirmed that “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Overwatch 2, and newly created Call of Duty: Modern Warfare accounts require a phone number.”

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Talking to Forbes, Blizzard said that many Overwatch cheaters simply keep creating accounts on the same phone number. As Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer explained, the idea of SMS Protect is to “make it inconvenient for people who use cheats, but also to making it more expensive and uneconomical to develop these cheats.”

So far, it seems many in the Modern Warfare community are delighted with the idea of there being fewer smurfs and cheaters in the game thanks to SMS Protect. “This is good news,” suggested Reddit user Stinger86 after the news was shared. “Should make cheating more of a pain in the ass after someone gets banned.”

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The post featured many more comments in support, however, Overwatch 2 players are furious with the system after being locked out of the game for having a pre-paid phone contract.

As many Overwatch players learned, not every phone number will work with the Battle.net account, completely locking them out of the game. Blizzard won’t accept numbers on a pre-paid contract plan or VOIP numbers, and Cricket Wireless users have had particular trouble.

With many in the Overwatch community pushing back against the new system, it remains to be seen whether it will be changed ahead of Modern Warfare 2’s campaign early access and October 28 release.

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Image Credit: Activision

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About The Author

Liam is CharlieIntel's Editor who focuses on Call of Duty but also plays lots of fantasy RPGs or anything else in his massive gaming backlog. After graduating in Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, Liam freelanced in games journalism before joining CharlieIntel in November 2020. You can contact Liam at [email protected].