Upcoming Call of Duty has an annoying phone number verification requirement


Source: The Verge


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II will require players to register with a phone number on Battle.net to play the game, in order to make players responsible for their actions. The game is set for release later this month on October 28th.

It’s a repeat of the practice that caused issues for Overwatch 2 players last week, PCGamer reports. A Battle.net support page lists the upcoming CoD shooter as one of its three games that “require that you add a phone number to your Battle.net account” to play, alongside Overwatch 2 and 2019’s Modern Warfare.

The phone verification system, which Activision Blizzard calls SMS Protect, is meant to cut down on toxic behavior from players, preventing them from creating endless new accounts to evade bans or to cheat. “Limiting the number of free accounts that a single person can create helps keep players accountable for their actions and, in turn, reduces toxicity and cheating and ensures a positive community experience for all players,” Activision Blizzard’s support page reads.


Phone Verification by Call of Duty


The problem is that SMS Protect is designed for text-enabled mobile phones, and doesn’t treat all phone numbers equally. A separate Battle.net support page notes that “mobile phones with prepaid plans may not work with the phone notification service.” It also doesn’t work with VoIP numbers. That restricts the service to players with postpaid cellular plans, which may not be affordable or easily accessible to many players around the world.

One Modern Warfare II beta player told PCGamer last month that they were asked for a “postpaid phone number” to start the game, with Battle.net refusing to accept the number associated with their prepaid Cricket Wireless plan. “This seems very wrong to require video game players to enter into a contract with a telecom company before being allowed to play the game they paid for,” they said.


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