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Overwatch 2 Still Facing Long Queues, Requires Phone To Play While Excluding Prepaid Numbers

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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Overwatch 2 is still facing long queues after its free-to-play launch was hit with massive server queues as well as a launch-day DDoS attack. While those issues are still being worked out, those lucky enough to play are being hit with another wall: the requirement to connect your phone with Blizzard's SMS two-factor authorization.

While the team at Overwatch has been working through the night to sort out the issues plaguing the launch, there hasn't been a substantive update since game director Aaron Keller tweeted around 9:30 pm Pacific time on launch day. 

Overwatch 2 has seen the typical number of players rush its servers that are often associated with launch day titles, though this one is likely a bit more exacerbated due to the fact that it went free-to-play on every platform as well. Couple this with the DDoS attack Blizzard confirmed it was under yesterday, and it's been a disaster for those looking forward to seeing what's new in the sequel. 

In a thread posted to the Overwatch 2 forums, the team laid out that it knows players are actually able to jump in past the queue and check out the experience. Users are reporting issues of their character not loading hair properly, seeing a ton of bald characters run around each map. The forum post also details issues with challenges updating progress, as well as a few maps that are altogether disabled including Numbani, Necropolis and Temple of Anubis.

Frustratingly enough for some, even getting past the fact that you might be spending a day in the queue is the fact that Blizzard now requires you to submit your phone number to the company in order to play Overwatch 2. The system, SMS Protect, is meant to help weed out cheaters and "disruptive" players, but it has the added effect of creating another barrier of entry for some fans.

As detailed by Kotaku today, those would-be players who rely on pre-paid cell phones are currently unable to actually play Overwatch 2 in the US thanks to the requirements of the service that prohibits prepaid numbers, landlines and even VOIP lines. 

As such, the free-to-play title's phone requirement has the added side-effect of locking out those players who can't afford the "right type of phone." One Reddit user detailed their thoughts, stating that "Blizzard is the first company to make [them] feel too poor to play a game." 

The result is that the sequel to Overwatch is locking people out of being able to actually play due to the type of phone they possess thanks to the mandatory SMS Protect. Hopefully, though, Blizzard implements changes to this and fast to prevent locking people out of playing the game based on their circumstances.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore