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Skill-Based Matchmaking: Unraveling the Call of Duty Mystery

In the realm of Call of Duty, skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) has become a topic of heated debate. Activision's recent claims about the timeline of imp...

Nat Smith

Jan 31, 2024

Skill-Based Matchmaking: Unraveling the Call of Duty Mystery


In the realm of Call of Duty, skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) has become a topic of heated debate. Activision's recent claims about the timeline of implementing SBMM in the franchise have raised eyebrows, drawing skepticism from former developer Brian Bright. As the Call of Duty fandom's perception of SBMM continues to simmer, let's dive into the controversy and unravel the mystery surrounding this polarizing feature.

The Controversial Embrace:
With the release of the Modern Warfare reboot in 2019, the Call of Duty series fully embraced skill-based matchmaking. Despite a chorus of complaints from players, Activision's studios remained tight-lipped on the subject, seemingly unwilling to consider a change in direction. However, a recent blog post from the publisher hinted at a potential shift, acknowledging the criticism leveled against SBMM and expressing a desire for more transparency in matchmaking.

The Questionable Timeline:
Activision's blog post claimed that skill-based matchmaking has been a part of the franchise since the original Modern Warfare in 2007—a game widely hailed as the pinnacle of Call of Duty excellence. But Brian Bright, a former Infinity Ward principal designer, challenged this assertion on Twitter. With a bull and scat emoji combo, Bright cast doubt on Activision's timeline, igniting a firestorm of criticism and further fanning the flames of skepticism.

The Vagueness of Statements:
While some fans pointed to Bright's response as evidence that Activision's statements cannot be trusted, it's important to note that the claim being refuted was rather vague. Activision never explicitly stated that the current iteration of SBMM dates back to 2007. They simply mentioned that player performance has been "considered" in matchmaking. This ambiguity leaves room for interpretation, and it's possible that the Call of Duty team began exploring skill-based matchmaking concepts during the time of the original Modern Warfare.

The Continuing Saga:
Activision's attempt to start a conversation about Call of Duty matchmaking may invite more high-profile skeptics in the future. However, it seems unlikely that the series will part ways with its most controversial feature, at least for the upcoming Call of Duty 2024 release. As the debate rages on, players eagerly await the next chapter in the Call of Duty saga.

Captain Price's Enduring Journey:
Amidst the matchmaking controversy, let's not forget the enduring legacy of Captain Price. The release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023) in November 2023 continued the gripping narrative of this beloved character, carrying players through a captivating storyline that bridges the gap between the 2019 and 2022 games. While discussions about SBMM simmer, Captain Price's adventure captivates the hearts of Call of Duty enthusiasts.


Skill-based matchmaking remains a contentious topic in the Call of Duty community. Activision's claims about the timeline of implementing SBMM have been met with skepticism, as former developer Brian Bright challenges their assertions. As the debate unfolds, one thing is clear: the mystery surrounding skill-based matchmaking in Call of Duty continues to intrigue and divide players. Whether the future holds changes or the status quo remains, the Call of Duty saga marches on, fueled by the passion and dedication of its loyal fanbase.

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