Call of Duty 2020, reportedly titled Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, will have one of the most controversial features currently in online gaming when it hits PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC later this year. The past few years there's been a lot of debate over SBMM in the Call of Duty community. SBMM stands for skill-based matchmaking, and it's a hot topic not in just the Call of Duty community, but other online gaming communities like Fortnite and Apex Legends. And apparently Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, like last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, will have skill-based matchmaking.
For those that don't know: SBMM matches you with opponents of your skill. And it's currently the most common form of matchmaking in online games, though there are still some that use random matchmaking. For some games like Rocket League or FIFA, SBMM is fine. In fact, it makes the game substantially better. In other games, like Call of Duty, whether or not SBMM improves the overall experience is very much up for debate.
Call of Duty didn't always have skill-based matchmaking, but it appears like it's going to be the standard going forward. According to reputable Call of Duty insider Tom Henderson -- formerly known as Long Sensation -- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will have SBMM. And according to Henderson, the decision isn't up to developer Treyarch, but is with Activision. Henderson further alleges that the feature is "here to stay."
As you would expect, this isn't sitting well with the more engaged Call of Duty players, many of which hate SBMM with a passion. However, as developers and publishers have said in the past, research shows that only a minority of players have a problem with SBMM. Further, it's an important feature for new and more casual players, which is typically the target of every online game. Why? Because not only is there more of them, but developers want their game to grow, which means attracting new players. And nothing deters a player more than getting walloped by seasoned players as they try and learn the game.
At the moment of publishing, Activision and Treyarch have no commented on this latest Call of Duty 2020 report, and it's unlikely they will.
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