Overwatch 2 Will Require Player Phone Numbers

Overwatch 2 will record voice chat and require phone numbers to be played

The hits keep coming.

Overwatch 2 will launch into early access next week with plenty of new features to experience. After a long development period, the game replacing the original Overwatch entirely and introducing potentially unwelcome changes, such as a shift to a battle pass progression system and a move to 5v5 multiplayer matches. The latest change could be for the better for all players, but it isn’t without its downsides. In an effort to facilitate a more positive community experience, Blizzard will require Overwatch 2 players to provide a phone number to play and is making a change to the voice chat.

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Yes, you read that first part correctly. Blizzard calls this the Defense Matrix initiative (named after D.Va’s signature ability). The studio says that the goal of this initiative is to “define, develop, and nurture programs that will ensure a positive experience for all players.” It is also being made to “ensure competitive integrity at every level of play by rapidly identifying and eliminating cheaters and disruptive players,” and to “create a safer community.”

 

The world could always use more phone numbers

From the launch of Overwatch 2, all players will need to have a phone number on their battle.net account, even if they played Overwatch beforehand. This is the SMS Protect feature, which should help to verify ownership of an account and prevent banned players from returning. Multiple accounts can’t share phone numbers, which may also prevent the smurfing problem seen in the competitive modes.

Blizzard isn’t stopping there when it comes to its new social features. The developer will also temporarily record the voice chats of reported players to analyze any potential disruptive behavior. The studio stresses that it will delete the files after they’ve been transcribed. It’ll then delete the text file no more than 30 days later. It’s an effort to make the reporting process faster, but we can’t blame players if they feel apprehensive about this.

Blizzard also outlined changes to the user experience for first-time players, stricter requirements to unlock Competitive mode, and a simplified player endorsement system, which can all be seen on the official blog post.

Overwatch 2 launches into early access on October 4.

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Image of Chirag Pattni
Chirag Pattni
Chirag is a writer at PC Invasion. He's been passionate about Halo, Metal Gear Solid, and The Legend of Zelda for as long as he can remember, and he enjoys all things anime.