Somebody has to remind Activision Blizzard that not everyone has a postpaid phone line.
Activision implemented this controversial feature in Overwatch 2 at launch but retracted it after numerous complaints. Many likened this unfair requirement to punishment for being poor. The publisher has since changed it so that it only applies to "accounts that were not connected to Battle.net as well as new accounts" but it appears that the Call of Duty side didn't get the memo.
The company later doubled down on the divisive anti-cheat measure in an updated blog post by retroactively applying it to "newly created Call of Duty: Modern Warfare accounts." Blizzard argues that this is necessary for added security so you can receive "notifications when important changes are made to your account." This is great, in theory, but it doesn't solve the main issue.
To make matters worse, Activision Blizzard released a new "Squad Up" trailer showcasing celebrities and rappers inviting everyone to come and play Modern Warfare 2 - talk about tone-deaf.
It's unclear if this is exclusive to Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 or if this will apply to Warzone and Warzone 2.0 when the free-to-play sequel comes out on November 16. Either way, you'll at least need a Battle.net account to play either battle royale shooter, so it's better to err on the side of greediness. Come to think of it, SMS Protect is better suited for the free-to-play titles on the account that, well, they are, free-to-play. Instead, it feels like Activision has applied multiple paywalls on Modern Warfare 2 by asking you to have a postpaid line just to enjoy a game you bought.