As we approach the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, players will need a registered phone number to play.
According to an updated support page on Blizzard’s website, Battle.net may require players to register a phone number to jump into the battlefield. This potentially presents a barrier of entry for some.
Based on details on the website, Battle.net may not accept prepaid plans. This means users on a pay-as-you-go contract from a telecom service won’t be eligible for registration.
“Any mobile phone in a supported country with a data plan and that is not prepaid or a VOIP number, can be used with this service,” the page states.
This appears to be a new requirement Activision Blizzard is instilling in newly launched titles. This controversial decision is also being scrutinized across Overwatch 2. Upon the Early Access launch, players discovered that they were locked out of their accounts due to their phone plans. This issue was also compounded by several DDoS attacks affecting players from accessing the game.
blizzard isn't letting people play overwatch 2 if they have… a prepaid phone plan?? pic.twitter.com/NkVOMuFGDJ
— Jack Saint (@lackingsaint) October 5, 2022
The page continues to state, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, newly created Overwatch 2 accounts, and newly created Call of Duty: Modern Warfare accounts require a phone number.”
Furthermore, the page lists the following:
- Messaging apps like iMessage (iOS) or WhatsApp (iOS, Android) are not supported.
- Mobile phones with prepaid plans may not work with the phone notification service.
- Phone notifications cannot be used with Voice over IP (VoIP), and VoIP numbers that are transferred to a local provider are not eligible for the service.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a premium game with an $89.99 price tag. However, Overwatch 2 is free-to-play. This pricing model typically comes with the assumption that the title offers a lower barrier of entry for players. However, forcing players to have a monthly phone contract in order to play is counteractive to this strategy. On the plus side, there’s a possibility it could curb hacking and creating smurf accounts.
Likewise, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is a free-to-play game and is releasing on November 16th. It’s likely that, once again, players will require a phone plan in order to drop into the new Al Mazrah map. However, this is currently unconfirmed.
Blizzard did apologize for instituting the phone number requirement for long-time Overwatch players. Retroactive to its new requirement, Blizzard states players who have played since June 9th, 2021, will not have to register a number. Whether the community backlash regarding Modern Warfare 2 will have similar results remains to be seen.
Image credit: Activision