Call of Duty devs know you're mad about skill-based matchmaking, and for once will actually explain what they're doing about it

Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 reignited the long-smoldering battle over the validity and fairness of skill-based matchmaking, and with frustrations now threatening to boil over, the Call of Duty team says they'll actually tell players what's going on under the hood of ELO and SBMM and MMR and everything else. Just, you know, not today.

"We know there is a lot of interest in the matchmaking experience, especially around how skill contributes to how lobbies and matches are put together," the Call of Duty team said in a statement shared with Charlie Intel. "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. This involves people working at our Call of Duty studios, our backend services team at Demonware, and other groups like our Player Insights team.

"It's a large effort that we've worked on for many years, and our approach combines latency, search time, and skill, along with many other factors, to try to find the best match experience for you. Talking about this topic in detail can be hard, and we haven't spent the time to pull together all of our work to share with you our insights and improvements over the many years. We're looking forward to doing that in the coming weeks after Season 1 launches, and we'll also make it a part of our ongoing discussions with the community."

The statement is mostly just empty assurances with little to no actionable substance, but it still came as a notable surprise since Call of Duty devs traditionally don't utter a word about matchmaking. I don't know if they were put under some ancient curse that prevented them from speaking of it, but seriously, we've basically never heard about matchmaking in CoD before. Granted, we still haven't, but now we apparently will. And soon! 

Will the Call of Duty team turn up in a few weeks carrying a perfectly engineered solution that will satisfy the two diametrically opposed camps in the SBMM debate? Hell no, but Modern Warfare 3 and the community's understanding of its matchmaking might be better off in the end, which is a healthy start. 

Wanting an even playing field in your online lobbies isn't a skill issue and it’s time to stop moaning about skill-based matchmaking, argues PLAY contributor Dashiell Wood. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.