“Feels like being punished for being poor,” Overwatch player Richard Meunster said to Kotaku by email. Along with 19 million other peopleRichard and his brother both use Cricket Wireless, one of the prepaid phone services Overwatch 2 will not accept the newly installed mandatory two-factor authentication system, SMS Protect.
All Overwatch 2 players, including those who have previously purchased Overwatch, need to provide a phone number that matches certain requirements to start the game. As part of those requirements, phone numbers cannot be attached to prepaid phone plans, landlines, or use VOIP. However what’s left of Blizzard’s heart seems to be in the right place — the developer hopes the request will cut “both cheating and disruptive behavior” — players like Richard are forgotten. Not because they don’t play well or don’t care or don’t want to have fun, but because they can’t afford the right phone.
Prepaid phone plans like Cricket and Mint Mobile allow people to pay for their usage upfront. Despite being unfairly labeled as Break– a “recorded” type of phone, a prepaid phone that’s easier to incorporate into low-income budgets, with monthly costs typically between $15 and $50. Some companies like AT&T even advertise directly prepaid services for low income customers.
Richard, a college student, uses Cricket’s $50 monthly plan because “if you can’t pay it that month, they just turn off the phone instead of taking you to the collection.”
“If I get a regular phone plan and then can’t pay, my credit score will be destroyed,” he said.
Tại một thời điểm vào năm 2020, có 74 million US-only prepaid phone plan users. Richard is far from the only one Overwatch players are gradually eliminated.
“I’m ashamed to have a prepaid phone,” said one Reddit user, who Posted in r/Overwatch and received a thousand support in less than 24 hours, said. “I never thought I would be disqualified Overwatch based on my ability to be able to buy a phone deal, but here we are… Blizzard was the first company that made me feel too bad to play a game. “
“Can’t believe Blizzard is denying access to people with prepaid phone plans Overwatch 2” one Twitter user wrote. “Why is it important for me to pay the phone bill?? 6 years of my life, all the time, money and progress went down the drain. “
Blizzard’s phone restrictions seem to primarily affect users of US prepaid phone plans, and the company hasn’t rolled back. KotakuRequest for comment during publication. Prepaid phone users in other countries reported was able to log into the game without issue, which some players speculate could be because their country requires identification to purchase prepaid phones or because Blizzard only bans phone plans known prepayment.
“This is why the system won’t stop hackers or smurfs,” wrote one Reddit user. “They’ll just use a virtual number service that Blizz doesn’t know about.”
While Blizzard solves that problem, Richard and countless other low-income prepaid phone users are hurting.
“It’s like a big injustice,” Richard said. “Postpaid plans are cheap around $90. If you are a prepaid phone owner who really wants to play Overwatch 2, you’re making an extra $50 per month to get a Blizzard approved phone. Talk about playing for free. “
Update 11:20 p.m. ET: According to complaints from Overwatch 2 On-demand players, Blizzard has announced that it is no longer asking for the phone numbers of “the majority” of “current” players, prepaid or not. This is Snowstorm, every single new blog post solves launch problems:
Any Overwatch player with a connected Battle.net account, including all players who have played since June 9, 2021, will not have to provide a phone number to play. We’re working on implementing this change and expect it to go live on Friday, October 7. We’ll update players as it goes into effect.
We remain committed to combating disruptive behavior in Overwatch 2 — accounts not connected to Battle.net as well as new accounts will still have to meet the requirements of SMS Protect, which helps ensure that they I’m protecting my community against fraud. If a player is caught with disruptive behavior, their account may be banned whether or not they have a new account.
As a team, we will continue to listen to ongoing feedback and will make further adjustments in this area if required.
We asked about the wording of this announcement, as we still don’t know if completely new players without an existing account will be eligible, or who will be excluded as this specifies the majority. not the entire player base.