Mark Rubin, who was the executive producer of Infinity Ward until 2015, shared that he is “not a fan” of the skill-based player recruitment system that is present in Call of Duty and other multiplayer games.
Ahead of the launch of Modern Warfare 2 tomorrow (October 28), the Call of Duty community has been discussing whether the inclusion of skill-based player recruitment (SBMM) is positive or negative for the game. SBMM refers to a feature that pits players against opponents who, according to the game, are roughly equal to them in skills, in order to create more honest matches.
Rubin took to Twitter this week (via The Loadout) to explain that he was “not a fan” of SBMM and felt it was being “imposed on us from above” while he was at Infinity Ward.
“You have to participate in a match in which there are players better than you and worse than you,” Rubin said. “Then the experience is more diverse, and as long as the balance of the team is fair, you still have a chance to win your match. And you’ll see how you get better over time.”
Earlier today (October 27), Rubin posted a deeper critique of SBMM and explained why he is not a fan of the system, although he clarified that he is “not here to say that people who like SBMM are wrong or that people who don’t want SBMM to be right.”
“When you play a game using strict SBMM, you are playing with a group of players who are for the most part the same as you, and against them. They have the same skill level and probably they play the same way as you,” Rubin explained. “On paper, it sounds pretty honest. And you will be right if your goal is tough competition. And I am satisfied with such an experience in the rating mode, where there is a goal and a reward for the competition.”
However, Rubin claims that with SBMM, players will “get an experience where every match is the same,” and explained that “if you start improving your skills, you’ll probably get a few games where you feel a little dominant, but don’t worry. the algorithm will soon return you to the same outdated experience.”
Rubin, who is currently an executive producer at Ubisoft and is working on the studio’s upcoming XDefiant shooter, said he “advocates removing SBMM from the casual game because I want players to have a diverse experience.”
“For me, the key [to] a great gaming experience is diversity,” Rubin continued. “I want to play against players better than me, and I want to be proud of being one of the best players in the match. And I feel like SBMM takes away that diversity and makes me play the same match over and over again.”
In the patch for the launch of Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward responded to feedback on the selection of players in the game, stating that it had made some changes to reduce the disbandment of the lobby between matches.