New Call of Duty Theory Has COD Fans Worried About Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer

A new Call of Duty theory has COD fans worried about Black Ops Cold War multiplayer. Ever since the release of Modern Warfare, a big talking point within the Call of Duty community has been skill-based matchmaking, often referred to as SBMM. For those that don't know: SBMM is a matchmaking system that pairs players against and with players of similar skill. Depending on who you ask, this system isn't anything new, but players have noticed that since Modern Warfare it's been amplified. SBMM was a big talking point when Modern Warfare released, and now it's a big talking point around Black Ops Cold War as it nears release.

Jumping into this conversation, Call of Duty insider, leaker, and content creator Tom Henderson proposed a new theory that has some fans worried about Black Ops Cold Warfare and the future of the series. Over on Twitter, Henderson pointed out that Activision patented a new SBMM system back in April 2019, ahead of the release of Modern Warfare, that's far more complicated than just plain ol' skill-based matchmaking.

"Activision patented a new SBMM system in April 2019 (6 months before the release of Modern Warfare)," said Henderson. "The new SBMM system doesn't just take your K/C, SPM, and W/L anymore... It calculates everything including your movement around the map, the weapons you use, purchases, and more."

Henderson continued, noting the patent also details how it encourages players to engage with in-game monetization.

"The patent states that a part of the system is designed for 'influencing game-related purchases,' which means players that have COD points or a tendency to buy COD points could be matched with players that have purchased in-game items to entice them. From what I've read, the patent also has zero mention of prioritizing connection based matchmaking over skill-based matchmaking - Which Activision calls the 'Virtual Coaching System.' So a casual playing experience and a good connection is second to money."

Henderson concludes by noting that there's currently no evidence that this patent has been implemented in any meaningful way, but you'd assume Activision wouldn't create this technology just to sit on it. Further, it would explain why only now players are really starting to notice SBMM.


That said, of course, take everything here with a grain of salt. While the patent is real, we don't know if it ever graduated from the conceptual stage.

As you may know, Activision has been extremely quiet when it comes to SBMM and how it's implemented, so it's unlikely it will comment on any of this. However, if it does, we will be sure to update the story with what is provided. In the meanwhile, feel free to leave a comment or two letting us know what you think, or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there.