Call of Duty developers finally speak out about SBMM

Call of Duty developers finally speak out about SBMM

After committing two months ago to address the burning issue of SBMM, Activision has finally released a press release in which the developers share their vision on this very controversial feature in multiplayer.

In recent years, SBMM (skill-based matchmaking) has completely divided players, with many fans even moving away from the license due to the increasing difficulty of the games. MW3 was no exception to this rule, with social media ablaze with constant complaints about punishing matchmaking upon the game’s release.

Following this feedback, in November 2023, the developers shared an official statement briefly summarizing how the system works. The statement concluded by announcing that more information would arrive in the coming weeks, promising to share additional details.

Two months after that statement, the developers finally pulled together and shared what fans have been waiting for with a release titled “An Inside Look at Matchmaking.”

CoD developers explain the multiplayer matchmaking system

For starters, the shared post only covers the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty. The developers mention that other modes will be covered later.

When it comes to CoD multiplayer matchmaking, two key factors are considered by the system: connection (Ping is king) and time to find a match. There are also secondary critical factors taken into account such as platform used, input, recent maps/modes and player skill level.

Critères matchmaking Call of Duty
Activision

When it comes to connection, developers use a metric known as “Delta Ping,” which is “the difference in data round-trip time between your best data center” and “the data center your lobby was on.” place”. CoD’s netcode attempts to reduce the effects of latency, but in some cases this cannot be completely avoided, impacting the feel of a game.

On the other hand, the developers explain that the waiting time for a game is impacted by players entering and exiting lobbies. Taking the Rustment playlist as an example, if a player leaves a lobby, it creates a filling process, hurting the overall experience, as the system tries to fill the empty lobby.

But the important point of this release is the measurement of skill level, which Call of Duty takes into account in matchmaking, considering eliminations, deaths, scores and performance.

Testing was done without this system, but data showed that player retention was significantly lower.

Activision also claims that this system which judges player skills has been used since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to influence matchmaking.

This data indicates that including skills in the matchmaking process balances player wins and losses, rather than prioritizing a particular outcome.

The press release also denies common myths such as the presence of AI in multiplayer, matchmaking influencing player damage (hit reg) or the possibility of having easier games by purchasing packs in the game store.

Future updates will continue to explain how this system works, including a new release on “Ping and Matchmaking” which will provide more detailed information.

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