Game News Overwatch 2: a free-to-play there “to punish the poor”? Activision reacts
Since Tuesday, Overwatch 2 is finally here and the transition to free-to-play has begun for good. Nevertheless, we can’t say that everything is going for the best given the ton of various and varied problems encountered by the players, in particular the double authentication by smartphone for the players… who do not have one.
When the pill does not pass
This is undoubtedly the huge event of the week: Overwatch 2 has been set in motion and with it, great excitement for a franchise well and truly back in the limelight. The problem is that the servers are already full, the queues are endless and even worse, several computer attacks have been carried out, increasing access to free-to-play.
And since we’re talking about free-to-play, it’s a very specific mechanism that’s getting people talking about it today: double authentication via SMS Protect, an Activision-Blizzard system, which requires use your smartphone to connect to Overwatch 2. And play it.
The problem is that not everyone has a smartphone. “We feel like we are being punished for being poor”, explains the player Richard Meunster by email to Kotaku. Like many others, Meunster explains that he uses a rather rudimentary prepaid telephone which is not accepted by the publisher for double authentication. Another internet user put it this way on Reddit:
I’m ashamed to have a prepaid phone. I never thought I would be disqualified from playing Overwatch due to my ability to afford a phone contract, but here we are… Blizzard is the first company to make me feel too poor to play a game.
A message that received almost two thousand upvotes on the forum.
Activision-Blizzard corrects the shot
For Activision-Blizzard, double authentication via its SMS Protect system reduces “both cheating and disruptive behavior”. Only here, in the United States in 2020, there were then more than 74 million users of prepaid telephones: in the heap, there are therefore many players who cannot then play Overwatch 2, which is supposed to be free-to-play. Not to mention the rest of the world.
Faced with the bad buzz, the publisher took the lead with a welcome decision: the community no longer needs to go through a phone to log in to a Battle.net account, whether it has been active recently or is not new. A press release was also given:
Any Overwatch player with a Battle.net account, which includes all players who have played since June 9, 2021, will not be required to provide a phone number to play. (…)
We remain committed to addressing disruptive behavior in Overwatch 2: Accounts that were not logged into Battle.net as well as new accounts will still need to meet SMS Protect requirements, which helps ensure that we protect our community from cheating. If a player is caught engaging in disruptive behavior, their account may be banned whether they have a new account or not.
As a team, we will continue to listen to ongoing feedback and make further adjustments in this area as needed.
Double authentication by SMS Protect therefore still exists, but the rules have definitely been relaxed. A gesture immediately thanked by the playersincluding the author of the Reddit post quoted above: “THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS!!! Not just for the kind words and the solutions, but because the Blizzard team was able to address the issue.” All’s well That ends well.
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