Blizzard hates cricket phone users

This is why a class action lawsuit needs to be made, period. I shouldn’t have to be treated/discriminated against like this just because of a phone. So if you bought MW2 and have or use cricket, you can’t play the game at all, not even beta. Add a phone number they say, but don’t except cricket and it don’t count, so screw you paying customer. I use cricket and can’t play cuz they don’t except cricket, but, where I live cricket is just as big as any other service. For MW2 I had to get a refund for the game and couldn’t play in beta either, so this is how Blizzard are going to treat fans of the game and paying customers. I even bought the vault edition, which is more expensive, got refunded. Thank goodness I got a refund before it’s to late. I am never going to pre order threw them any longer on any game, I will not buy season passes, cod points or anything from the cod store either any more due to this issue, if they start losing money they will change there mind or a class action lawsuit might make them change there tune.


It has nothing to do with Cricket specifically.

The Government flags phone numbers when created. Land lines, cell phones (contract vs pre-paid), and VOIP.

Blizzard’s system is set up to only accept the contract cell phone numbers. Blizz does not control the flagging on those and can’t change those flags.

Cricket has a bunch of numbers they acquired that are flagged as pre-paid “burner phone” style numbers. Cricket also has normal numbers.

For what? You suffered no harm and got your money back for a game you could not use.

Phone number type is not a legally protected class like race or gender.

If you wanted to do that, you would have your lawyer read the EULA. There is a dispute resolution policy there.

Why is it just this one? I can play Vanguard, Cold War, MW, and WZ without any problems but now my phone number is a problem?

1 Like

So none of that makes sense.

This is completely bs, and everyone knows it.

It’s not Blizzard’s fault because they set up this process where it’s required? Wrong.

This is 100 percent Blizzard’s fault because THEY decided to utilize this method.

I’m not changing my phone number or carrier for Blizzard. Looks like no more Call of Duty for me. That’ll save me money every year.

Or I can switch my phone carrier, pay and extra 30-40-50 a month JUST so I can play Call of Duty, and/or other Activision/Blizzard games. Why would I pay upwards of $500 a year extra just to play their games?

This is exactly the sort of idiotic decision that can snowball into a major PR black eye for Blizzard. The type of stuff companies should avoid massively, especially in a year when they are raising prices into a recession!

Also what’s really funny is you can’t even use a landline either.

So you HAVE to have a certain type of cell phone carrier to play Blizzard’s games.

Same phone number since 2005, which means longer than many of the beta players have even been alive. I remember the VERY first Call of Duty, sadly doesn’t look like I’ll be playing the future ones. Not because I’m boycotting them, but they put the hurdle up between us arbitrarily.

They better not implement this with Overwatch 2, because then they are taking AWAY one of my games, as they’re closing down Overwatch 1.

…and there it is, to ‘reduce disruptive behavior and ensure a positive community experience’. What a joke. Really positive I can’t play, and this asinine policy only ensures that I can’t and thus won’t give you my money. Meanwhile text chat will be as it ever was, and all of this did nothing.


I know this is going to sound crazy, but would you believe that not every game ever published is playable on every device ever manufactured? I know, it sounds Looney Tunes, but try this simple experiment. Re-read your post to yourself, but as you do, replace every reference to your phone and/or phone service with “the laptop manufactured in 1996 that I bought off Ebay for $15 last month.” Does it still make logical sense in your mind, or do you suddenly find yourself thinking, “Well of course it doesn’t!” because you understand why and are familiar with those reasons more so than the reasons your phone service doesn’t?

I understand that your situation is frustrating, but the fact is that not everything works with everything else. Some things simply are not their fault… like if you try to play on a service that isn’t compatible, or a laptop from almost three decades ago. That’s not discrimination, it’s just incompatible technology. And why is Cricket’s service “incompatible” you ask?

As a gaming company, their ultimate goal is to make the most customers happy that they can. They’re a business, and businesses exist to make money. Happy customers equals paying customers, so it’s in their best interest to make customers happy. Part of making customers happy is providing a product and use experience that is pleasurable to the most people. Part of that is keeping their games secure to try and keep the “bad apples” out as much as possible. And that means limiting access to games through means which are known to be exploited by bad actors. And legally, it’s something they HAVE to do and don’t have a choice in the matter. From a legal standpoint, businesses have to demonstrate consistent actionable effort to protect their product and brand. If they don’t do that, then when litigation occurs, the courts look at their history of precedent on if they do or don’t make those good faith attempts, and if they don’t, then the courts tend to skew towards not upholding protection of the business because the business hasn’t demonstrated it wants to protect itself. This is mainly found in cases involving copyright and/or trademarks, but the principle extends to other things, and there are many examples to be found in the gaming industry.

Again, I know it’s frustrating that you’re innocent collateral damage in this situation, but on this issue, you’re aiming your ire in the wrong direction. If changing your phone service isn’t an option you’re willing to take, that’s your decision, but blaming them for your decision is illogical. It’s like if you actually owned that 26 year old laptop and got mad at them for not making a 16-bit game in 320 x 200 resolution that was playable at 17 fps. If you don’t have compatible tech, you don’t get to play with the other kids in the sandbox. Simple as that. Ditch the red bucket and get a blue one if you wanna build sandcastles. Don’t get steamed that the playground management isn’t going to restructure the rules of the playground because you showed up with the wrong bucket.

What are you talking about?

My phone isn’t from 2005, it’s an Android 11 with ~300k Antutu score. It’s the same number, you know, so I’m not switching numbers and crap.

My PC is an i7 7700k with a GTX 1070

Nothing about my situation is obsolete.

Cricket is also AT&T

Also you’re comparing a technology directly responsible for playing a game, to something that has nothing to do with a game. The tech I have that plays the game is 100 percent compatible.

What’s next, you need an electric vehicle or you can’t play MW3? That’s basically the argument you are making. Not just any electric vehicle either, but ONLY a Tesla. That you need some OTHER device and service to be able to use THIS one. Even if everything I have tech wise, is perfectly compatible. Also again, Cricket is literally AT&T.

Now replace your sophistry with reality and realize this is all an arbitrary decision that makes zero sense and altering reality to serve a narrative makes your position nonsense.

Additionally, what tangible benefit does this decision bring to an actual end user? Please present any graphs that showcase how kicking off Cricket Users will increase the pleasurable experience of non-Cricket Users, and with that MetroPCS, Mint, and all other non-contract customers.

I use this phone for other things that send txt codes and 2FA and such. But no, somehow that’s not good enough. Good enough for banking. Good enough for Steam. Good enough for whatever, not good enough to play a disparate online game with no actual needed linkages for it in order to play.

They are literally forcing someone to be in a contract with a 3rd party that’s not themselves in order to utilize their services. Why should I be forced to pay twice the price on my monthly phone bill to access their games? Potentially even lose my games if I don’t? That’s bull.

Direct ire elsewhere? It’s their arbitrary decision. It’s 100 percent them, and that’s obvious. Now if you want to get into minutia about who is more at fault, Activision or Blizzard or Infinity Ward, that’s one thing for an academic discussion. Ultimately they are all one.

Nowhere is it necessary to kick off non-contract phone customers to play a video game, and litigation can happen to anyone for anything. Just like authorities can indict a ham sandwich. No one is going to successfully sue Blizzard/Activision because they didn’t kick off these sorts of customers. There are also many different ways to address cheats. Pretending this is their only recourse and is thus necessary is simply wrong. Also pretending that they need to do this to prevent some sort of litigation is also a joke.

Meanwhile, tangibly they are pissing off their paying customers, and not increasing the ‘pleasurable experience’ of anyone else. That’s bad form and bad policy.

Activision/Blizzard needs to come out and state whether this requirement will be part of the final retail game as well as for Overwatch 2 (including for those who owned Overwatch 1).


You could argue that the lack of a phone or
post paid plan, is more common among low income and minority individuals and therefore they are disproportionately effected by this requirement. Why is Activision discriminating against these groups?


You seem to think corporations have some duty to provide things at reduced cost or free to low income folks. They don’t. Either people can afford a gaming device, phone, internet, games/services, or they can’t.

Gaming is a hobby, not an essential service such as access to the court house, hospital, or Govt building.

A company may lose money by making their games or services less attractive or available to a portion of the possible consumer market. That is a decision a company makes when designing and pricing their products.

I can’t afford a lot of things in life, but that does not mean I am entitled to them and discriminated against if I can’t afford them.


I mean this in a nice way but this is a really snarky reply… The truth is Blizzard has set up a system that is going to make it harder for people to use their accounts unless they change to a phone carrier Blizzard approves. Just because I choose to save a few bucks by using Cricket doesn’t mean I am not a long time consumer of Blizzard products. I just like to save a few bucks on my cell plan. You are coming across as very condescending.


It was not meant to be condecending. I am sorry if it came off that way. I was frustrated someone thinks that using phone numbers the Govt has flagged a certain way is somehow an intentional discrimination against individuals of any race or class.

The flagging is not done by Blizzard. The reason Blizz does not allow “burner phones” or VOIP is because they are frequently used in fraud and criminal activity. They are certainly valid for those who need them, but the drawbacks have led to Blizz not accepting them.

Blizzard uses the phone number to validate accounts, esp setting up the Authenticator. What used to happen was that the Auth did not require a phone number at all. Hackers used to steal accounts then attach a free Auth to it to prevent the owner from getting back in easily.

Blizzard eventually required a phone number to set up the Auth - and not a VOIP or “burner” number. They also require the number and country on the account match.

It was done to prevent fraud and damage.

The feedback from most of us (MVPS are not Blizzard staff) is that anything that prevents an Auth being set up is bad, but so far Blizz still feels the number, with the restrictions, is what they want.

I get burner phones are used for fraud, but there should be a different way to validate the account if they want to go that direction.

1 Like

I’m more irritated that I bought Overwatch when it first came out, have had it for years, and only recently started playing it again only now to find out that I can no longer play it due to my phone carrier.

I was playing games last night, and now I can not. I’m not a serious or competitive player but being told “No, you can’t play something that you’ve owned for years” is somewhat stupid, in my humble opinion.

The sad part is that I was thinking of buying OW2, and now I know I won’t because I won’t be able to play it anyway.


It just seems like there should be some sort of middle ground for people who use pre-paid phones for their regular day to day (non-criminal :slight_smile:) phones… I appreciate your response though and I understand that Blizzard thinks that this will eliminate some smurfing problems or whatever, but it seems like anyone who wants to game the system is going to continue to game the system and people with legitimate phones are going to be the ones inconvenienced or locked out based on how they pay their phone bill. It’s weird because it’s not like I’m “too poor” to afford another phone service I just genuinely prefer Cricket’s service to that of other larger companies I’ve dealt with and Blizzard is the first company that I’ve had trouble signing up for an account using this phone to verify. I’ve verified much more important accounts that this one with my Cricket phone. lol

1 Like

As in you can’t play OW1 right now? That’s odd. I just tested one of mine and it seemed to open up and play fine. I queued up for both QP and Comp and they let me go right in, without having an SMS setup on that account today the 28th…

I’m sure that won’t be the case come the 4th. But that is my Comp only account, so I will have to take steps apparently.

Cannot believe that, a week before the game goes live, Blizzard announces this change. I have had this same Blizzard account since OG World of Warcraft - I have even had an authenticator on it at times - and my account has never been hacked.

If Blizzard is telling me I need to pay someone else a higher subscription fee to play their free game, I am not going to do so…and I have beep playing OW since launch.

Would gladly work with Blizzard on this, but that does not seem to be an option.

1 Like

Blizzard is responsible for the system that only accepts contract cell phone numbers, without landline options or pre-paid. They’ve made the choice to exclude more than 74 million people in the US alone. I’ve made the choice to not get my teenage kids on a WAY more expensive plan so they can play OW. We’ll just have to wait until OW2 has ‘disappointing numbers’ and then maybe they’ll revisit this decision.


I agree that this feature is absolutely crazy. I have had the same phone number for 15+ years and now I can’t add it to my battle net account to play blizzard games because I transferred it to cricket? I have no idea what 3rd party service you are using to validate phone number but it is absolutely BROKEN.

1 Like

Does anyone know, as a cricket customer, if it is possible to contact some sort of government agency to request that your number be removed from this flagged system?

1 Like

That’s a good idea, actually. Since MOST cell phone numbers are portable, it would seem logical that even ‘burner’ numbers could be transitioned to ‘real’ carriers. I know up here in Canada, they can be. I dunno if that removes the flagging, though.

That is the problem, in part. The numbers are still flagged that way even when moved to a Contract plan.

I have never, in many years of looking into this, found out how to get flagging changed. I know individuals can’t do it. I assume it has something to do with the carrier company and the Govt.

It is very very frustrating for people, esp parents who don’t want their kids having a “real” phone for very good reasons.

I just realized this is an issue, as well. I’ve spent a bunch of money on the game and was planning to continue playing, but now I’m barred from being able to play the game now because of my phone plan. I pay my phone bill, I’ve never missed a payment. This is actually heartbreaking because I was looking forward to playing and was even allowed to play the beta both times. I’ve got a valid phone number, but it’s still an issue due to this system. I hope this gets addressed by launch or soon after launch because a ton of people are going to be completely unable to play because of this. Everybody in my area has this phone service and now nobody I know is going to be capable of playing.

1 Like