- A former Call of Duty developer has seemingly denied Activision’s recent claim that skill-based matchmaking has been part of the series’ multiplayer formula since 2007.
- The claim originates from a January 29 blog post attempting to offer more transparency about how Call of Duty matchmaking works.
- SBMM has been a long-criticized aspect of COD multiplayer, with many fans claiming that it makes casual online play less accessible.
Former Call of Duty developer Brian Bright has pushed back against one of Activision’s recent claims about skill-based matchmaking (SBMM), casting doubt on the publisher’s stated timeline for when the series began adopting the polarizing feature. In doing so, the industry veteran added more fuel to the ever-kindling fire that is the Call of Duty fandom’s perception of SBMM.
The hit shooter series fully embraced skill-based matchmaking with the release of the Modern Warfare reboot in 2019. Despite vocal complaints, Activision’s Call of Duty studios were so far reluctant to even entertain questions about SBMM, much less consider a change in direction. A January 29 blog post from the publisher suggested Activision wants to approach matchmaking more transparently moving forward, in part because of the never-ending criticism of SBMM, which many find to be detrimental to the overall experience because of its tendency to make casual play less accessible.
The Biggest Problem With Call of Duty’s SBMM Isn’t Sweaty Matches
Skill-based matchmaking is as controversial as ever in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but the issue goes beyond overly competitive lobbies.
Among other things, the lengthy write-up saw Activision claim that skill-based matchmaking has been part of the franchise since the original Modern Warfare, which a significant portion of the fandom considers to be the best Call of Duty game ever made. And while the 2007 shooter’s cult status is not in doubt, the accuracy of Activision’s stated SBMM timeline has now been called into question by Brian Bright, a former Infinity Ward principal designer who spent around a decade working on the Call of Duty series before leaving his long-time employer in 2021.
Taking to Twitter, Bright responded to the claim that the original Modern Warfare had “considered” player skill in its matchmaking with a combination of a bull and scat emoji, in that order. The colorful rebus unsurprisingly fueled more criticism of the series and its publisher on social media. And while some vocal fans pointed to Bright’s reply as evidence that Call of Duty‘s official statements on SBMM cannot be taken at face value, the claim that the former Infinity Ward developer was refuting did not offer much actual information to rebut in the first place.
Regardless of When It Started, Call of Duty SBMM Doesn’t Seem To Be Going Away
Namely, Activision has never claimed that the current iteration of skill-based matchmaking dates back to 2007, just that its efforts to “consider player performance” when creating multiplayer lobbies do. By itself, that statement is vague enough that it doesn’t necessarily say much of anything, and could simply be referring to the fact that the Call of Duty team started looking into skill-based matchmaking back then.
It remains to be seen whether Activision’s efforts at “starting the conversation” about COD matchmaking, which is what its January 29 post was meant to do, invite any more high-profile naysayers of this sort. In the meantime, it is still looking unlikely that Call of Duty 2024 will be moving away from the series’ most controversial feature.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023)
Released in November of 2023, Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023) continues Captain Price’s story from the 2019 and 2022 games.
- November 10, 2023
- First-Person Shooter
- M For Mature 17+ Due To Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
- How Long To Beat
- 5 Hours
- Platforms That Support Crossplay
- PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S
- Split Screen Orientation
- Horizontal Only
- PS Plus Availability
- Local Co-Op Support
- 1-2 Players