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

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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. 

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Activision/SHG
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. 

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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”. 

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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.

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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

CDL’s Florida Mutineers announce $25K Warzone tourney: how to qualify

Published: 13/Oct/2020 23:13

by Albert Petrosyan

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Call of Duty League franchise, Florida Mutineers, are putting together a Warzone tournament series that will give interested players a chance to compete against big-name pros and content creators for a slice of the $25,000 prize pool.

With the dog days of the Call of Duty League offseason very much upon us, more and more teams are entering the business of hosting Warzone competitions, with the Florida Mutineers being the latest example.

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Along with one of their leading sponsors, Cox, the Mutineers have organized the Elite Gamer event, a series of Warzone tournaments that will culminate with a $25,000 championship featuring a lot of popular figures in and out of the gaming world.

Before that, however, players in the United States will get a chance to compete in several smaller play-in competitions, which will feature their own prizes as well as qualifier spots for the main event.

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Warzone Florida Mutineers
Infinity Ward
Warzone tournaments have been all the rage in CoD since the CDL’s offseason began.

Elite Gamer Play-In tournaments: dates & how to sign up

There are four duos play-in tournaments for the Elite Gamer event, the first of which was already played on October 2. The next three are on October 13, 21, and 23, all of which are open to anyone in the US.

These smaller competitions feature prizes from SCUF Gaming, Astro Gaming, and the Florida Mutineers organization, with the top-two duo teams from each one advancing to the Pro-Am Championship.

Those interested in playing can sign up by visiting the Elite Gamer Warzone Tournament Series website here, which also contains all of the detailed rules and a list of prizes.

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Florida Mutineers Warzone tournament
Florida Mutineers
The Florida Mutineers’ Elite Gamers Warzone series features $25,000 in prizes.

Elite Gamer $25,000 Pro-Am Championship

The Elite Gamer series will wrap up on October 27 with the $25,000 Pro-Am Championship tournament, which will feature “celebrities, professional athletes, musicians, and top CDL players,” according to the team.

$15,000 will go to the first-place duo, $5,000 to second place, and the remaining $5,000 will be donated to The Call of Duty Endowment – a non-profit organization that seeks to help veterans find high-quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value veterans bring to the workplace.

Several players have already been confirmed, including Thomas ‘Tommey’ Trewren and Aydan ‘Aydan’ Conrad – popular streamers who have already won several high-profile Warzone competitions. The full list of participants will likely get revealed at some point ahead of the main event.

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Aydan Warzone
Aydan - Twitch
Aydan is one of the big-name content creators participating in this Elite Gamers Warzone event.

That’s all we know about this tournament series so far; while the details regarding the actual format haven’t been announced yet, considering that it’s a “pro-am” tournament, each Warzone player will likely be paired up with someone from outside the gaming industry.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @DexertoINTEL as we’ll be bringing you the latest info as the Championship’s date draws nearer.

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