Overwatch 2 requires your phone number again

A screenshot of Overwatch's healer Mercy performing her ultimate Resurrect ability.

If you were happy that Blizzard has largely dropped the SMS Protect requirement, a method of curbing the creation of free Overlook 2 accounts of potential bad actors, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it’s back. Yes, the publisher announced an updated blog post that SMS Protect has been re-enabled, meaning whether you have a prepaid cell phone or not, you will soon need to link a phone number to your Battle.net account in order to play Overlook 2.

Overlook 2 has been a bit of a mess since it came out on October 4th. Cards have been removed. Servers were flooded at launch, making the game largely unplayable. A third of the selection was locked and certain heroes, such as Bastion and Maywere removed so Blizzard could troubleshoot their kits.

Overlook 2 has been through it, and the SMS Protect number requirement was another thorn in the side of gamers. Some told Kotaku it felt like “being punished for being poor” because SMS Protect didn’t allow prepaid numbers, which effectively prevented low-income people from playing the free-to-play hero shooter. Following the quick response to this controversial requirement, Blizzard reversed the decision, saying people with a connected Battle.net account “don’t have to provide a phone number to play” Overlook 2.

Read more: Overlook 2Phone requirement: ‘It’s like being punished for being poor’ [Update: Gone For Most]

Well, Blizzard has changed its mind again. In a blog post updated Nov. 17, the publisher said that SMS Protect for Overlook 2 makes a comeback.

“Starting today, we are expanding global SMS Protect access to prepaid phones,” Blizzard wrote in the blog post update. “We are excited to welcome more players Overlook 2 while remaining committed to combating disruptive behavior and protecting the integrity of the player experience. This update may take a few hours to fully roll out, and we can’t wait to see you in the game!”

Kotaku contacted Blizzard for comment.

While Blizzard said in its updated Nov. 17 blog post that SMS Protect would appear in “a few hours,” I simply had to add a phone number to a newly created Battle.net account. So I think the requirement went live earlier than the company expected. Excellent.

At the same time, Blizzard announced that SMS Protect is back, Overlook 2‘s new executive producer Jared Neuss posted a separate blog about updates to the game. This includes tweaking the progression system so you “feel good about the time you just spent in the game”, improving wait times so they’re “more accurate in the UI”, tweaking matchmaking to “improve the skill level and better determine a player’s division,” and make balance changes to heroes that are “good for the current state of the game.”

Experiments are also in the works for the battle pass so that rewards feel more rewarding and less grindy, but these updates “may take more time to embed,” Neuss said.

“A quick note: Sharing plans before they’re finalized is risky,” Neuss wrote in the blog post. “Development on a live game like Overlook 2 requires constant juggling of urgent player needs, long-term ambitions and live issues. It’s easier and safer to talk about the work when it’s almost done and ready to be delivered. That said, I think sharing our thoughts early on is the right thing to do so that we can create a better dialogue between the development team and the community. Keep your feedback coming: we read it, we get inspired by it, we use it in our development plans. Ultimately, we need it to make sure we’re building a game that you’ll want to keep playing for years to come.”

Blizzard, which is notorious for its toxic work culturehas announced Overlook 2The second season of ‘s starts on December 6. This batch of content includes a new map, another battle pass and the tank hero Ramattra, which can be unlocked after reaching level 55 with the battle pass. Unfortunately.

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