Many fans have been left stranded and angry due to the new Overwatch 2 SMS Protect system, beyond just the DDoS attacks causing login errors. Meant to curtail smurfs and cheating, this measure requires players to connect a mobile number to their Blizzard account to play the game, but the developer will not accept certain pre-paid or VOIP numbers. In more concrete terms, it looks as though anyone with a Cricket Wireless phone plan in the United States has been disqualified from accessing Overwatch 2, along with any saved data or progress they had from the original Overwatch.
Blizzard will address prepaid phone issue “soon”
User RLmclovin on the official Overwatch Reddit confessed in an largely upvoted post of being “ashamed of having a prepaid phone”:
I’ve been playing with friends and family for years, now I can’t play with any of them because of my phone plan…. Never thought I would be disqualified from playing overwatch based on my ability to afford a phone contract, but here we are… Blizzard is the first company to make me feel poor to play a game.
According to users commenting in the Reddit thread, prepaid plans like Mint Mobile seem to work just fine, though that might depend on the region.
Cricket Wireless announced in October 2021 that it had 12.4 million subscribers, who all now apparently don’t have access to Overwatch 2. A spokeperson for Blizzard told GameSpot that the company will “address this situation soon,” which could be as early as this afternoon.