Call of Duty

CoD YouTuber reveals possible MTX-based matchmaking in Modern Warfare

Published: 8/Dec/2019 14:16 Updated: 8/Dec/2019 15:52

by Joe Craven

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Popular YouTuber ‘PrestigeisKey’ has shed light on a potential microtransaction (MTX) based matchmaking system in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, following a patent’s discovery a few years ago. 

On December 7, popular Call of Duty YouTuber Prestige is Key uploaded a video in which he purchased numerous camouflages for his weapons, before trying them out in game. 

Upon purchasing the camos, Prestige states that his lobbies felt “incredibly different”, in that they were a lot easier than normal. The general consensus among the MW community is that skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) is in the game

Infinity WardModern Warfare is widely believed to have SBMM.

SBMM sees players placed in lobbies against others of similar skill levels, in the hope of fostering more competitive environments. However, many argue it punishes good players and protects lesser-skilled ones, as well as encouraging reverse-boosting.

As a result of his skills in Call of Duty, Prestige explained that he usually encounters highly-skilled opponents. However, he found that, after joining lobbies after purchasing the bundle, many of his opponents were not particularly skilled.

He describes the difference as “night and day”, and wants to let his gameplay speak for itself.

Timestamp for Mobile Users: 2:10

Prestige is clear he has no data to back up his assumptions and that he is making no formal accusations of an MTX-based matchmaking system in Modern Warfare. He even jokes that he is donning his “tin-foil hat”.

However, CoD fans have a right to be concerned: back in late 2017, a Glixel report found that Activision had patented a method of matchmaking specifically designed to encourage players to spend money via MTX. 

The algorithm would match players who had purchased DLC (downloadable content) into matches against lower-skilled players who had not purchased the new content. As a result, players who had not purchased DLC would be beaten comprehensively by those using the new weapons they had purchased. 

TreyarchBlack Ops III was one game which had its MTX criticized, and one that Activision denied benefitted from the patent.

In theory, this would encourage players who had not spent money on the game to do so, and reinforce to players that had how good their new weapons were. 

The patent was overwhelmingly criticized, and developers Sledgehammer Games, and publisher Activision, came out to deny its implementation in the newest CoD at the time, WWII. However, the very fact that such a patent existed worried CoD fans, and would fit with Prestige’s experience. 

Following the revelations, fellow YouTuber Drift0r, who regularly provides detailed analysis of CoD games, vowed to investigate the claims. He has previously released a video stating there is “some evidence” of SBMM in Modern Warfare. 

It is unconfirmed whether or not such an algorithm is being used in Modern Warfare. We will likely not hear anything from Activision or Infinity Ward, who remain tight-lipped on their matchmaking systems. The development studio has been quiet over the SBMM controversy so far.

As Prestige emphasizes, there is no clear evidence to back up these claims, and he is merely speculating based on his anecdotal experience.

In response to this article Prestige explained that he has been experiencing bugs when it comes to joining lobbies and matchmaking. It is unclear whether this is related to the lobbies he was joining.

We will continue to update you if more information on MTX matchmaking becomes available.

Call of Duty

CDL Commissioner confirms Warzone is part of the league’s competitive plans

Published: 21/Jan/2021 0:59 Updated: 21/Jan/2021 2:34

by Theo Salaun

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The Call of Duty League’s commissioner, Johanna Faries, has confirmed that Warzone is part of the league’s competitive plans and will be featured in a more “structured” integration moving forward.

Activision’s unprecedented success in 2020 could not have been achieved without Warzone. While Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare, the Activision-Blizzard franchised CDL, and Treyarch’s Black Ops Cold War have all been their own successes — Warzone is more than a cherry on top.

Regularly near the heights of Twitch’s viewership, the CoD battle royale has amassed both a huge casual community and more dedicated fans committed to watching tournament play. As such, it’s unsurprising that the CDL wants to do more than the casual Warzone content it created in the inaugural season.

That content typically spanned getting pro players, coaches, and analysts involved in custom matches on Verdansk. While entertaining, Faries has revealed that the league has much more competitive plans in store for the battle royale.

In an interview with ScreenRant, Faries, who heads both the CDL and Overwatch League, expressed that Warzone will be getting more properly integrated into the CDL’s plans: “There are [plans to bring Warzone to Call of Duty League], and we’re excited to announce those plans in the coming weeks and months.”

The Head of Leagues continued, contrasting these new plans with the casual content of the inaugural season and confirming that future integration will be much more esports-focused: “We did bring in Warzone related content with our pros last season, but we’ve taken the off-season to think bigger about what a more structured investment could look like. There are really exciting things to come as early as this season.”

Clayster on stage
Call of Duty League
The CDL kicked off to a boisterous start in its inaugural season.

As mentioned earlier, the CDL’s Warzone content in 2020 was primarily casual. Weekend custom lobbies created some fun clips and moments, but overall didn’t have quite the drawing power of Warzone’s more legitimate esport events.

We’ve seen former CDL bench players grow into massive Warzone careers, such as the London Royal Ravens’ Rhys ‘Rated’ Price as well as Charlie ‘MuTeX’ Saouma and Thomas ‘Tommey’ Trewren formerly of the Dallas Empire. 

The league obviously has the talent for appealing Warzone competition, so fans will be antsy to find out exactly what kind of “structured” integration may be coming in the future.