Call of Duty Reveals Why It Won't Turn Off SBMM

Over the last several years, Call of Duty players have become very familiar with the term skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). The mechanic is used by developers to match players of roughly equal skill up against each other. When it's working properly, that means low-skill players shouldn't be taking on high-skill players very often, while still accounting for connection speed and other factors. For some, this is an annoyance because it means good Call of Duty players will rarely get a relaxing game where they dominate the competition. That's not much of a problem in Ranked modes, but many feel casual modes shouldn't have SBMM. Today, Call of Duty developer Activision let fans know that it won't be going away anytime soon, and the reason isn't surprising.

SBMM Isn't Going Away in Call of Duty

In their new blog post to the community, the Call of Duty developers say that they have "run tests over the years to determine if removing skill as a consideration from matchmaking makes. We will continue to launch these tests periodically. To date, the data remains consistent with what we have detailed above – players tend to quit matches or stop playing if they're getting blown out, resulting in a negative overall experience for all players in the lobby and the general player population."

Essentially, Activision's tests are telling them the exact thing many would suspect. If SBMM isn't turned on, casual players will often turn off the game. Not only does this mean lower engagement for Call of Duty but it could also eat into Activision's bottom line. Unhappy players are less likely to spend money on microtransactions, so Activision has a vested interest in keeping as many of its fans as happy as possible.

The playerbase wanting SBMM out of the game is generally the minority. Players who jump in on the weekend with their friends make up a massive chunk of Call of Duty's playerbase, and alienating them would be a mistake. That said, it would be good to see the restrictions eased slightly outside of Ranked modes.

To that end, Activision said, "We have considered this (removing skill in specific general multiplayer game modes) in the past and we will continue to examine if this idea makes sense as part of an experimental playlist or in specific modes. We have nothing to announce on that front today."

That's not the news most players wanted to hear, but it does at least confirm that Activision is thinking about it. Hopefully, as we move forward, the Call of Duty team can find a solution that satisfies everyone. That might be too much wishful thinking, but with another game in the franchise coming later this year, they'll get yet another crack at it soon.

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"Call of Duty Reveals Why It Won't Turn Off SBMM" :: Login/Create an Account :: 6 comments

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It sucks but lets be honest. COD isn't going to change/die any time soon because all these kids continue to use their parent's CCs and pour money into the game every year, spending $20 on a new skin every week like candy.

Activision has no real reason to change if money keeps pouring in like crazy. They're so well known now that they could literally put out sh*t and would still profit off it.


Sbmm is sorry excuse of a matchmaking system.


Straight bums now. They're gonna watch those player numbers drop more and more overtime. They let money get to them, it ain't even about the players experience anymore.


not listening to the players is a bad idea fr

bye bye COD franchise


Yeah screw em they don't care and it shows now


Worst thing to ever happen to call of duty