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Blizzard apologizes for Overwatch 2 launch issues & makes some SMS Protect changes

Overwatch 2
Ben Borthwick Updated on by

Blizzard has apologised to fans after a rocky launch day for its new free to play shooter, Overwatch 2.

Though the game has been live just over 36 hours now, many players have struggled to be able to login to the game. Many of them have faced queues, disconnects and the loss of their items from Overwatch 1.

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Now, in an update on the Blizzard forums, the studio has given its own take on the game’s first day of launch, and let fans know how they’re tackling the issues and getting more people into the game.

“While millions of people have been enjoying the game, the launch has not met your, or our, expectations.”

“First, we want to apologize to our players. We expected the launch of Overwatch 2 to go smoothly. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and we are working hard to resolve the issues you are experiencing.”

Overwatch 2 – SMS Protect changes

First off is a change to SMS Protect – the system that requires players to connect a phone number to their account to play Overwatch 2.

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While this system will remain in place for new players, and accounts that were not connected to Battle.net, Blizzard has declared that it’ll remove this requirement for any Overwatch player with an existing connected Battle.net account, including all players who’ve played the game since June 9, 2021.

This update will go live tomorrow, Friday October 7.

Overwatch 2 – Server Issues, Login Queues and server stability

Some players trying to login would join a queue, get to the end of it, and then be put into a second queue. It seems that this didn’t necessarily mean their progress was reset.

Rather – it turns out there’s supposed to be two queues for players – one for Battle.net and one for the game itself. This process is supposed to be invisible to players, however – and now players should only find themselves in one queue before joining the game.

In addition, Blizzard have said they’re working to improve login and game stability. They’ve patched a “critical” login server, and say doing so has increased reliability. They’re also working on another server update to reduce occurrences of players being kicked after already joining a game.

There’s also the issue of the player database being overloaded. Blizzard say they’re in the process of adding extra nodes to ease pressure, but they’re having to add them slowly to not tax the system.

Queues are also being throttled in the short term to protect the player database in the long term – so if you’re suffering a lot right now, it should eventually get better.

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Overwatch 2 – Account merge issues & incorrectly locked heroes

Finally, Blizzard has addressed player reports of not seeing their items from the original Overwatch unlocked in Overwatch 2, as well as heroes appearing as unexpectedly locked for certain players.

On the first instance, the studio says that this is partially due to some players not completing their account merge thanks to a bug that didn’t provide a prompt on some consoles. A fix has been deployed for this bug for most people, but the team are still working on fixes for further UI issues.

The other reason your inventory may be emptier than expected is simply down to the transfer and population of items between games taking longer than expected. Blizzard reassured players that no data has been lost or wiped – and they have a client-side fix ready to go, but that can’t be deployed until next week.

In the meantime, they’ll be exploring server side fixes, and providing updates ASAP. Finally, players who might be seeing the FTUE restrictions applied to their account are advised to logout of the game and log back in to fix this issue.

The post closed by addressing the two DDOS attacks on the game – which Blizzard say “did not directly cause any of these issues” but did make “the environment in which we work on these issues more challenging”. They also say, thankfully, they’ve suffered no further attacks.

Overwatch 2 released this week – and you can check out our Overwatch 2 status page here for how things are getting on. If you are in the game, check out our guides to the best Overwatch 2 tank heroes and best Overwatch 2 DPS heroes.

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Overwatch 2

on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Overwatch 2

Release Date:

04 October 2022