Former Call Of Duty Exec Responds To Skill-Based Matchmaking Controversy

The former head of Call of Duty: WWII studio Sledgehammer says he had "frustratingly little influence" on key decisions about his games.


One enduringly controversial topic for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is that, despite the game using a skill-based matchmaking system, there is no ranked mode. Call of Duty professional player Nadeshot stoked the flames of this debate recently when he spoke openly about his frustration with the lack of a ranked mode. And now, former Call of Duty executive Michael Condrey has responded, saying he, too, was frustrated by some of the decisions about Call of Duty that were made outside of his control.

"I'll never understand why Call of Duty goes through all the trouble to implement skill-based matchmaking but won't add a ranking system," Nadeshot said. "If you're going to match me up against better players, why can't I have a rank to be proud of and work towards?"

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For his part, Condrey said it was never his decision to not include a ranked mode. Instead, decisions about analytics, skill-based matchmaking, monetization, and dedicated servers, came down from Activision corporate. Condrey said he had "frustratingly little influence" on those decisions, "despite their impact on our games and the Call of Duty community."

Activision has not officially announced that Modern Warfare uses a skill-based matchmaking system, but tests from various YouTubers have shown that this is likely to be the case. Anyone who has played Modern Warfare might agree that matches are generally even, with some anomalies.

Nadeshot observed that the new battle royale mode, Warzone, also probably uses skill-based matchmaking. He said he consistently plays against people he knows to be top Call of Duty players. Out of a pool of 30 million players, it's "beyond coincidence," he said.

As for Condrey, he's able to speak openly about his frustrations now because he's no longer working for Activision. During his run there, he started Call of Duty: WWII studio Sledgehammer Games before moving into a corporate position at Activision HQ. He has since left Activision, and he now is heading up a new Silicon Valley studio for 2K Games, 31st Union, which is making a brand-new IP.

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