Michael Condrey claims Activision controls CoD SBMM & Monetization - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Michael Condrey claims Activision controls CoD SBMM & Monetization

Published: 28/Mar/2020 15:28

by Joe Craven


Former Call of Duty developer at Sledgehammer Games, Michael Condrey, has shed some light on the control Activision had over skill-based matchmaking and monetization in past CoD games, despite their unpopularity.

Michael Condrey was Chief Operating and Development Officer at Sledgehammer Games for a number of years, overseeing CoD development alongside Glen Schofield. The two founded the studio back in 2009.

During the time of Call of Duty: WWII, Condrey was promoted to an executive at Activision in February of 2018. He has since left the role in order to work at an unnamed 2K studio in Silicon Valley, California. 

Michael Condrey (right) founded SHG in 2009 alongside Glen Schofield (left).

Condrey has not spoken expansively about his time at Activision, but shed some light on how much control the company has on March 27. 

Skill-based matchmaking has been a very controversial topic in the CoD community of late, with many fans calling for its removal from this year’s Modern Warfare. 

In response to an article from our sister site, CharlieIntel, regarding Nadeshot calling for SBMM’s removal from Warzone, one CoD player joked to ask Michael Condrey. “It didn’t work then, it’s terrible now,” they said. 

In response, Condrey stated that skill-based matchmaking was “never directed into CoD from me”. He also explained that “Analytics, [skill-based] matchmaking, monetization, [dedicated] server coverage, [are] all driven from ATVI central tech and production teams.”

Condrey summarized that developers have “frustratingly little influence on those corporate decisions despite their impact on our games and the COD community”. 

SBMM in public matches has been very unpopular with fans, who argue it should only be in ranked or competitive modes. Many fans state that higher skilled players are punished for their talents, and are unable to play casually as a result of SBMM. 

Condrey’s last Call of Duty title, 2017’s WWII, was criticized (among other things) for the inclusion of skill-based matchmaking. However, his response appears to indicate that it was a decision made entirely by the publisher, rather than the developer.

Sledgehammer Games
Sledgehammer Games
2017’s CoD WWII is SHG’s last Call of Duty instalment.

Despite its lack of popularity in Modern Warfare and more recently Warzone, Infinity Ward have remained tight-lipped over SBMM’s inclusion in their title.

SBMM, some argue, is included to protect lesser-skilled players from being beaten comprehensively in matches. However, given the lack of communication regarding its implementation, it’s hard to know the exact reasons for the insistence on its inclusion in Call of Duty. 

Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War bug removes grass on Cartel and players are loving it

Published: 24/Nov/2020 19:35

by Tanner Pierce


Ever since the beta, Black Ops Cold War players have been complaining about the grass on the map Cartel, claiming that it’s too high and can block visibility. Now, a bug is eliminating that grass and players are apparently loving it. 

When the Black Ops Cold War beta first launched and players had the opportunity to try out all the maps the prerelease version had to offer, one stood out among the rest because of its terrible visibility: Cartel. While the outskirts are fine and pretty open, the center is generally considered a nightmare because of incredibly tall grass that blocks sightlines.

Ever since then, fans have been complaining about the visibility and when the game launched, nothing about the visibility was changed in any drastic way. Now, all of those complaints are being resolved in Black Ops Cold War – all thanks to a bug.

Had a bug where the leaves and bushes disappeared on the map Cartel…..it was beautiful from r/blackopscoldwar

According to a few Reddit posts, fans have been experiencing a bug on Cartel that essentially removes the extremely tall grass. As one can see from the pictures, the glitch gives the map a way more open feeling and allows players to see the center more easily than the normal version.

Response to the no-grass version has been overwhelmingly positive, with some people calling the bug “beautiful” and “how Cartel should be.” User bobagolf pointed out in one of the more popular posts that it looked so nice that it “makes it look like the version with the bushes should be the bugged version.”

How Cartel should be. from r/blackopscoldwar

To be clear, it’s unknown whether or not this glitch is new. Some players were reporting that they got it “early on” but considering at least three separate posts were added to Reddit talking about it in the span of 24 hours, it seems like, at the very least, it is now happening more frequently.

Normally, it’s easy to hope for a quick fix from the developers, but considering most players seem to be in love with the version, it may be in everyone’s best interest if Treyarch just makes it a permanent feature of the map and removes the grass entirely. Only time will tell what they’ll end up doing.