Michael Condrey, the co-founder and former studio head of Sledgehammer Games, recently gave his thoughts in a Twitter post about why Call of Duty games always seem to have “skill-based matchmaking” but never ranked play multiplayer modes. Apparently, Activision matchmaking decisions are to blame, rather than any Sledgehammer studio heads.
As one of the publishers of big shooters in video gaming, Activision of course wants to draw as many people to a game as possible and squeeze as much money out of them as they can, so they’re bound to make a large amount of decisions that some may find unpopular. These include not only matchmaking, but microtransactions as well.
While the Activision matchmaking decisions to implement skill-based matchmaking supposedly matches players with ones of similar skill, many a time this actually ends up putting players together more by connection than by the skill you’ve shown in games. This is in contrast to ranked play, which has players go up ranked ladders and be matched with players that are also that rank.
The microtransactions issue is another commonly-known problem with Activision, where the company forces the studio to shoehorn microtransactions in order to generate additional revenue. A similar problem was faced by Bungie with its Destiny games until they bought themselves from Activision.
Condrey himself never had any input on whether or not skill-based matchmaking and microtransactions would make it into the game, and in his same tweet he also expressed frustration at how little input that Sledgehammer themselves had on the decisions, despite how large of an impact they made on games.
Considering that the addition and severity of microtransactions can often make or break a title, such as in Star Wars Battlefront 2, which only began to become a success after its highly controversial microtransactions were removed, one would think that Activision would learn a lesson, but apparently not.