Skill-based matchmaking might be a part of Apex Legends for a while after a response from a Respawn dev suggests the online feature is here to stay.
A portion of the Apex Legends community is still reeling from the effects of SBMM since it pairs people in all playlists with other players of similar ability.
While more skilled players want it removed to destroy noobs for highlight clips and content, others look for a casual setting to play with friends of varying skill levels.
A response from Respawn Entertainment Principal Coder Michael Kalas was essentially the nail in the coffin for people wondering if Apex would ever scale down the matchmaking feature.
A player chimed in to ask if “random matchmaking in the 'Play Apex' mode” could become more prevalent instead of the effects from SBMM that makes every game, Ranked or not, filled with competitive players.
The developer simply replied with a gif of Dave Bautista with the iconic ‘Deal with it’ sunglasses superimposed on him. While it was a brief response, it echoes what the Apex community have been hearing about SBMM from the devs.
— Michael Kalas (@thezilch) February 27, 2020
Even in the Season 4 patch notes for the game, Respawn gave a ‘Matchmaking Update’ to the community. In it, the devs doubled down on their decision to include SBMM saying that it “has existed in Apex since launch and [they’ll] be continuing to improve on it over time.”
In that update, they acknowledged that SBMM has been a “contentious topic among players” but maintained their position that it’s going to stay while they look for natural improvements to make.
Previously, Respawn Senior Systems Designer Eric ‘Ghost’ Hewitt told their players that SBMM “will become the norm for most MP games,” citing the “indisputable evidence” that “it helps out something like 80-90% of the community with retention for most of those games.”
SBMM will become the norm for most MP games, as there is indisputable evidence through data that it helps out something like 80-90% of the community with retention for most of those games... which hurts us 10%’ers, I know. Still though, ours might need some tuning potentially
— Eric Hewitt / Ghost (@GH057ayame) November 24, 2019
Ghost’s comment on November 24 and the February’s Season 4 patch notes both suggest that SBMM or its residual effects still need some refining.
The decvs will continue honing their online matchmaking system to appease their players, as much as they might want SBMM taken out of Apex Legends.