Ex-Call of Duty dev weighs in on Modern Warfare 2 SBMM debate

Mark Rubin, a former executive producer at Infinity Ward, has criticised Call of Duty's use of SBMM in its multiplayer mode ahead of Modern Warfare 2's release

Modern Warfare 2 SBMM debate ex-dev comment: an image of Alejandro Vargas looking annoyed

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is almost here, for real this time. If you have played through this shooter’s story and unlocked all the Modern Warfare 2 campaign rewards, you’ll be pleased to know that the Modern Warfare 2 release time is fast-approaching. However much excitement is out there, though, there is yet another debate regarding the series’ use of Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM) in it’s multiplayer modes. This time around though, an ex-Infinity Ward executive producer has weighed in with their own opinion – something that will undoubtedly fuel the fires of fans against the integrated feature.

Mark Rubin, who worked with Infinity Ward as an executive producer until early 2015, has stated that he’s personally “not a fan of SBMM”. In addition to this, though, he goes on to state that while he was working with the studio on Call of Duty titles, he could “see it being pushed on [developers] from the top”.

Without going into much detail, Rubin expresses that he doesn’t like how the matchmaking feature treats players and believes it’s something that just belongs in ranked modes.

“You should be in a match that has players better than you and worse than you”, Rubin believes. “The experience, then, is more varied and as long as the team balancing is fair… you still have a chance to win your match”.

While Rubin does make a competent argument for the feature’s removal from casual playlists in Call of Duty games, you have to wonder whether this is a discussion worth having. Rubin himself states that in the Xbox 360 era, “there was SBMM but it was not [as] heavy-handed” as it is today. So, it’s clearly something that works well enough to have stood the test of time.

In and amongst all this talk of SBMM and it’s pros and cons, Rubin interestingly confirms that Ubisoft’s XDefiant – which he is working on as an executive producer – is not going to have SBMM. Well, at least to the extent that modern Call of Duty titles utilise it.

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So, could this mean that XDefiant is going to offer one of the best competitive FPS game experiences when it drops? Something that harks back to what many see as the golden era of Call of Duty? Rubin worked with Infinity Ward on Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, and Modern Warfare 3 (as well as Ghosts, but we don’t talk about that).

If you’re not too fussed about SBMM and looking forward to the new Call of Duty game, you should check out our guide on how to level up weapons fast in multiplayer and a guide to all the Modern Warfare 2 maps right here. It’s never too late to prepare.