The change comes after intense backlash.
Overwatch 2 developer Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the game’s SMS Protect feature will now accept prepaid phones.
In a tweet released earlier today, the company shared that players from around the world will be able to use prepaid phones to satisfy SMS Protect on their Battle.net accounts. The change goes live today alongside season one’s midseason patch and should be available to all players by tomorrow.
The change comes amid major backlash since launch from fans who use prepaid phones, with many saying they shouldn’t be blocked out of playing Overwatch 2 just because they can’t afford or don’t want to purchase a post-paid phone plan.
Blizzard originally announced that SMS Protect, a form of two-factor authentication for Battle.net accounts, would be required for all players in order to cut down on cheating and toxicity. SMS Protect required players to connect a postpaid number with their Battle.net account, which was intended to prevent banned players from simply creating another account after the fact.
After intense resistance from fans, Blizzard changed the policy a few days after launch, sharing that all players who played the original Overwatch after June 9, 2021, or had a connected Battle.net account would not need to provide a phone number. Brand-new accounts will still need to provide a phone number, and each phone number can only ever be connected to one account. All players, regardless of platform, are still required to have a Battle.net account.
Players around the world were upset at Blizzard’s desire to block out those who did not have post-paid phone numbers, especially since Overwatch 2‘s free-to-play status was designed to lower the game’s barrier of entry so more people could play without having to pay $60.
Blizzard’s concern likely stems from stories of players in the original Overwatch who, after being banned, would go to ridiculous lengths to make another account, including paying $60 over and over for new copies of the game.