Call of Duty devs promise to make skill-based matchmaking ‘part of our ongoing discussions with the community’

Modern Warfare 3
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The Call of Duty team has issued a statement regarding fans’ complaints with skill-based matchmaking, and has promised to make conversations around the topic “part of our ongoing discussions with the community.”

In a statement shared by CharlieINTEL on Twitter (which an Activision spokesperson verified with IGN stemmed from a conversation at an event), the team acknowledged that “there is a lot of interest in the matchmaking experience, especially around how skill contributes to how lobbies and matches are put together.”

For those unfamiliar with the term, skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) is a system that is supposed to create lobbies of players with similar skill levels, so that they’re more evenly matched. However, complaints about the system have been raised by fans for multiple reasons. For one, it means that playing with friends at different skill levels can be difficult, as it can often mean that at least one person is put up against a lobby of players who are much more practiced at the game than them. Otherwise, it’s also worth noting that this system is applied to the Casual CoD playlists as well as the Ranked ones, which some feel makes what’s meant to be the supposedly easy-going experience more fraught than it should be.

The Call of Duty team elaborated on this: “Nothing is more important to us than the experience players have with the game, and matchmaking is a big part of that. We’ve been working on our matchmaking system for well over 10 years, and we continue to spend a ton of time and energy on improving the matchmaking process.”

It described the process as “a large effort” that involves input not only from the studio employees, but also the Demonware backend services teams and the Player Insights team. Furthermore, the statement adds that the overall approach to matchmaking combines “many other factors” as well as skill, latency, and search time in order to produce “the best match experience” for players. 

The team acknowledged that it hasn’t taken the time to show players its insights into skill-based matchmaking or the improvements made to it over the years, and said: “We're looking forward to doing that in the coming weeks after Season One launches, and we'll also make it a part of our ongoing discussions with the community.”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Season One is set to launch on December 6, so there’s not long to wait for it. 

For more games like Call of Duty, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best FPS games, as well as the best multiplayer PC games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.