Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) has become a hotbed of discussion over the last few years; it continues to be a source of concern amongst fans of the franchise. Activision has since sought out an improvement to the SBMM framework, assigning a subsidiary studio, Demonware, with curating and refining the system.
An associate close to Call of Duty describes SBMM as;
“complicated, but pragmatic. We’re always looking for ways on improving every facet that contributes to a products success, that’s the initiative […] SBMM is one of those things, as it’s really a matter of trial-and-error.”
SBMM plays an important role in sustaining and thriving a player-base, and with Vanguard failing to meet expectations, Activision has had the chance with wiping the slate clean and reviewing the system in place – a collective R&D (Research & Development) effort from several studios contributing towards creating a liberal, yet sensible system.
A system that accommodates all brackets of skill, high and low. An associate briefly mentioned that the new framework would become less debilitating for the better margin of players, instead of penalizing them, whilst allowing for a protected bracket to coexist for lower-skilled players.
Matchmaking Bot Pools
With the breakdown of the SBMM system, there are alleged plans to incorporate Bot Pools (PvPvE), for the new DMZ mode, and Warzone 2, on the condition that a player’s statistics are eligible to enter these lobbies. With the overhaul in AI, they’ll be able to track a players’ level of skill throughout a match, leveling and countering ‘Smurfs’ or outright removing the player from the matches
With Call of Duty newly integrating Bot Pools, an associate asserted that this particular system would cater to a specific set subsection of players in mind, the handicapped. One of many accessibility options to be introduced, ensuring that as many fans as possible have a chance at experiencing something that may have previously been unplayable to them.
Disbanding lobbies are supposedly here to stay. An associate emphasized its apparent importance in structuring SBMM as a foundation, plainly stating:
“if that were to be removed, it would collapse”
An associate then went on to mention that SBMM has only become a topic of discussion internally on the backend of Modern Warfare (2019), where a plan of action then followed soon after.
Technically, the teams weren’t prepared for Modern Warfare (2019)‘s wild success. The system utilized for that game was placed on full display, it was outdated.
It’s been put through the wringer with recent titles, but it’s constantly in development and maintenance.