‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ will use Blizzard's controversial SMS Protect system

The verification tool hasn't been popular with "Overwatch 2" players.

Infinity Ward / Activision Blizzard

When the next Call of Duty arrives on October 28th, fans will need to connect a phone number to their account to play the game. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, newly created Overwatch 2 accounts, and newly created Call of Duty: Modern Warfare accounts require a phone number,” says a recently updated support page spotted by PC Gamer.

News of the requirement comes following a week of controversy around SMS Protect, the phone-linking system in use by Overwatch 2 and soon Modern Warfare II. After a bumpy launch that saw a DDoS attack prevent many from playing Overwatch 2 on its release day, Blizzard announced it would scale back the requirement. Where the studio previously said all players would need to link a phone number to their account, now that requisite only falls on new Overwatch players. In part, the system has been controversial because “certain pre-paid” numbers could not be used in conjunction with SMS Protect. Before Friday, players with service from mobile providers like Cricket Wireless found they could not play the game.

At the moment, it’s unclear if all Warzone 2.0 players will need a mobile phone number to play that game once it arrives on November 16th. Since 2020, Infinity Ward has required all free-to-play Warzone users on PC to go through a two-factor authentication process. Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for clarification and comment.