Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Alpha Renews Skill-Based Matchmaking Debate

Treyarch says many Call of Duty games have used SBMM, even if you didn't notice.

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The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War alpha on PS4 has come and gone, and one part of it that's leaving a lasting impression is its use of skill-based matchmaking (SBMM).

This is a backend matchmaking system that puts players into matches with players determined to be of a similar skill level. Some people complained about SBMM for the Black Ops Cold War, and now the technology director at Treyarch has responded.

Martin Donlon corrected someone on Twitter who claimed that games like Black Ops 2, Modern Warfare 3, Modern Warfare 2, and 2007's Modern Warfare did not have SBMM, and this made them better as a result. But Donlon made it clear that they all had SBMM, even if it wasn't immediately noticeable.

Donlon also remarked that SBMM is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to matchmaking algorithms. "SBMM is one of many many tuneable parameters in a matchmaking system. It's funny watching people talk about it like it's a big switch that can only be turned on or off," Donlon said.

The Black Ops Cold War alpha was held this past weekend on PS4, and it is now over. You might have noticed that sniper rifles were OP in the alpha, and this was on purpose.

If you didn't get a chance to try the alpha, Treyarch will hold an open beta in October on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. You can check out our Black Ops Cold War beta guide to find out everything you need to know.

Black Ops Cold War launches on November 13 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The game is a direct sequel to the original Black Ops, taking place in 1981. In addition to multiplayer and campaign, the game brings back the fan-favorite Zombies mode.

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