Date: October 10, 2023
By Hanna Rose
Call of Duty fans are mad about SBMM again, because it isn’t fun unless you have a 50:1 K/D against 12-year-olds on Christmas.
Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM) has remained a contentious topic in the world of gaming for quite some time. In its simplest form, SBMM pairs players with others possessing a comparable skill level, resulting in challenging matches for skilled players and more accessible competition for those less proficient.
This might sound like a fair system on the surface, but the gaming community has once again erupted in frustration, this time directed at the latest Call of Duty installment for its SBMM implementation.
Dissatisfied fans lament that SBMM has had a detrimental impact on the series, heightening the intensity of gameplay to unprecedented levels. The prevailing sentiment is that when highly skilled players consistently compete against their peers, the overall enjoyment diminishes.
This is because they are unable to showcase their skills effectively unless they are dominating less experienced players, often symbolized by the annual tradition of “slaughtering 12-year-olds on Christmas.” Without SBMM, newcomers would find themselves facing off against seasoned veterans more frequently, which, in turn, would create a steeper learning curve, potentially dissuading them from continued participation.
One prominent YouTuber, TBag, expressed their outrage by tweeting, “Whoever invented SBMM deserves a lifetime in prison. Practically killed the franchise for me.”
Nocturnal, another YouTuber, echoed these sentiments, stating, “SBMM is poised to ruin the fifth consecutive Call of Duty multiplayer experience.”
However, labeling it as the fifth instance is a conservative estimate. Former Call of Duty developer Josh Menke confirmed that SBMM has been a part of the series since 2007’s Modern Warfare, extending its presence to far more than just five games. Yet, when players point this out to those upset about its inclusion in Modern Warfare 3, the response often centers around the belief that “it’s worse now.”
“Advanced Warfare didn’t subject you to constant high-intensity matches like every game since Modern Warfare 2019,” remarked barisax9 in response to a Reddit post asserting that Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM) is not a new concept.
MassLuca007 countered with, “That’s exactly what people were saying back then, though. The first time I heard complaints about ‘I can’t enjoy the game because I’m always playing against highly skilled players’ was during Advanced Warfare.”
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that eliminating SBMM would not necessarily eliminate highly skilled players, but rather pair them with newer and less skilled players.
For years, the ongoing debate has centered on the idea that SBMM should be reserved for ranked modes, leaving casual modes untouched.
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However, this approach can put additional pressure on new players who are less inclined to dive into the more competitive aspects of the game.
Considering that removing SBMM would disproportionately affect casual players, it is unlikely that SBMM will be going anywhere. It has been a fixture in Call of Duty for over a decade, yet fans continue to call on Activision to consider its removal.
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