When Overwatch 2 launched, it was required for ALL players to enroll in the SMS Protect system to access the game. Those who did not agree to this were not able to login into the game’s servers. In the first place, they found it annoying to use this feature as most of them were legacy players who came from the original game.
Blizzard said that this feature was actually important as the game has transitioned to a live service free-to-play model. This was needed to prevent disruptive behavior and to stop banned users from creating new accounts easily. This stops them from making duplicate accounts as well.
Unfortunately, this was favored by the gaming community and they thought of this as making it only available to those who have phones. There are other fans out there who do not have one yet.
Other players who are not from the US could not enroll as well with prepaid phone numbers, which was the only thing they could afford. Blizzard argued that players who would cause problems would only just buy cheap SIM cards in order to create new accounts. This had some unintended consequences as well since it excluded players from countries with low income and could only afford these types of SIM cards.
Blizzard finally decided to remove the policy for players who have already played the original game. They would have accounts connected to Battle.net that had played the original game since June 9, 2021.
Overwatch 2 is now available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.