Halo 2 dev calls modern SBMM a “failure” amid MW3 matchmaking controversy

Michael Gwilliam
modern warfare 3 squadActivision

As the debate over skill-based matchmaking wages on and the Modern Warfare 3 community growing increasingly frustrated, Halo 2 dev Max Hoberman has weighed in, taking aim at SBMM.

The Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 player base was left on read this week during a developer Reddit AMA where Sledgehammer Games stayed clear of SBMM questions, further infuriating the community.

SBMM has become one of the most controversial elements of competitive games. The idea of always having evenly matched lobbies has sparked plenty of debate. Some players argue that it’s better to have a variety of skill levels in a match while others want more even games.

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Now, Halo 2 dev Max Hoberman has voiced his concerns with modern SBMM, calling it a “failure” while explaining how he feels Bungie handled the matter better than other games on the market today.

Halo 2 dev takes aim at SBMM as MW3 debate rages on

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Hoberman scoffed at the idea that Halo 2’s implementation of SBMM “can’t work today.”

According to Hoberman, finding the right balance between being stomped, doing the stomping and having a competitive match was the right move as opposed to only having sweaty games.

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“Obviously no one wants to get stomped continuously. On the flip side, it gets dull (for most people) continuously stomping others. However, it IS fun having the upper hand some of the time,” he explained.

When it came to why he opposes always creating even matches, Hoberman said that while close games are the most fun to watch for spectators, the lack of variability is a problem.

“The failure of modern skill-based matchmaking, imho, is that it’s designed to maximize these perfect match scenarios and minimize the others. When it’s working, a majority of games become super tight, super stressful. That’s not fun for most players. Where’s the variability?” the dev added.

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He went on to say that forcing high queue times on high-ranked players and segregating them from the rest of the game’s population was a form of “discrimination.”

“Designers should strive to find a way that players of all skill levels can have fun together. Casual, inconsequential Unranked matchmaking is one way,” he said.

Only time will tell if Modern Warfare 3 shakes things up with its SBMM, but it’s clear where Halo 2’s Max Hoberman falls on the issue.

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About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at michael.gwilliam@dexerto.com or on Twitter @TheGwilliam