When Overwatch 2 releases next week, it will have a new requirement applicable to all users: a phone number. According to a new blog post from Blizzard, all players will be required to connect a phone number to their Battle.net account to play the game, and the same number cannot be used for multiple accounts. The idea is that having a connected phone number will make it harder for accounts to be compromised, while also making it harder for "bad actors" to circumvent a suspension by creating a second or third account.
"The security of your account is important, and SMS Protect helps verify ownership of your account in the unforeseen event of an account compromise," the company's blog post reads. "Similarly, if a disruptive player has been suspended or banned, SMS Protect makes it more difficult for them to return to the game."
Cheaters and bad actors have really hurt a lot of online games over the last few years, and this is especially a problem in those that are free-to-play. With Overwatch 2 ditching paid requirements, Blizzard has been taking a number of measures to prevent disruptive players from ruining the experience. In addition to the phone number requirement, the company is also preventing newcomers from participating in certain modes and chat until specific requirements have been met. The idea is that players merely intending to disrupt the enjoyment of others will be less likely to jump through these types of hoops, while new players will actually benefit from learning the game's intricacies before they can jump in.
There are always going to be bad actors in any online game, but hopefully these types of measures will insulate the game from the worst of the worst, while making it easier for Blizzard to permanently ban anyone that slips through the cracks. We won't have long to wait to find out, as Overwatch 2 is set to release October 4th on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Until then, readers can check out all of our previous coverage of the game right here.
Are you looking forward to the release of Overwatch 2? Do you think this requirement is a good thing? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!