Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Has the Same Phone Requirement Dropped from Overwatch 2

Nathan Birch
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Overwatch 2 has had its share of controversies at launch, with one of the big ones being a requirement that people register a mobile phone number in order to play a game, with pre-paid phones not being eligible. As many rightfully pointed out, this was creating a barrier to playing the game for people who couldn’t afford a phone plan or teenagers who might just not have one for various reasons (the game is rated T after all). Thankfully, Blizzard at least partly walked back the requirement for Overwatch.

“We have made the decision to remove phone number requirements for a majority of existing Overwatch players. Any Overwatch player with a connected account, which includes all players who have played since June 9, 2021, will not have to provide a phone number to play.”

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Well, while Acti-Blizz has softened their stance on Overwatch 2, they’re seemingly still sticking to the plan for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. According to a support page, all players will need to provide a phone number to access MW2…

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, newly created Overwatch 2 accounts, and newly created Call of Duty: Modern Warfare accounts require a phone number. […] Adding a phone number will allow Blizzard Entertainment to send you notifications when important changes are made to your account. Any mobile phone in a supported country with a data plan, and that is not prepaid or a VOIP number, can be used with this service.”

The Steam page for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 also backs this up, with fine print noting that players “must” have a cell number linked to their Steam account to play.

It seems rather baffling that Activision would attempt to push this through after the Overwatch 2 backtrack, but perhaps they’re betting on the fact that CoD is an M-rated game with an older fanbase who perhaps won’t have as much trouble getting access to a phone to register with.

Activision Blizzard has faced a series of lawsuits and other legal action on the heels of a suit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging widespread gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the Call of Duty publisher. You can get more details on that unfolding story here.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 arrives on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 on October 28.

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