Activision Asks Unofficial Call of Duty Warzone SBMM Website to Shut Down to Protect Player Privacy

Published 03/27/2021, 7:30 AM EDT


Activision did a very good job with its Battle Royale, Warzone. A year after its launch, and 80 million downloads later, there is no denying that Call of Duty fans are addicted to it. However, the game is nowhere close to being perfect. There are hackers thronging every lobby we drop into.

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Activision bans hackers periodically, but all that the miscreants have to do is create another account and drop in.

The more reigning problem however is skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). This unique matchmaking system promises to match players with the same skill, based on their past performances. Players criticized this method for a long time because the in-game experience seems nothing close to how Activision promotes it.

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Furthermore, Warzone does not have a ranking system for its players. With 150 players dropping in every match, knowing the average skill level of the lobby would give any player an idea of how to go about the game.

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Independent Call of Duty site SBMM Warzone asked to shut down

An independent site, SBMM Warzone, did the hard work for everyone and published a website where players can see several stats from their matches. It includes the average lobby ranking, and it also gives the players ranks or tiers after each game. While players cannot rank up in the game, the site featured ranks going from Bronze to Diamond, judged on K/D ratios.

Activision is now threatening to shut down the site for using its API (Application Programming Interface). SBMM Warzone needs the API in order to get all the details of any match in Verdansk. Only Activision’s partners are allowed to use its API, and SBMM Warzone is not an official partner.

The billion-dollar studio has asked the site to shut down all its services by Monday or face its legal team in a court battle.

Owners of the site, Ben and Dav, are now in a precarious situation that they need to handle cautiously. Their site also has paid features, and many clients have bought the services. While the site does nothing that is exploitative or immoral, using the API without being a partner is indeed a legal problem.

Now the owners have reached out to Activision to hear them out and accept them as partners. They posted a series of tweets asking for Activision to reach out so they can continue the work that the community appreciates.

Many have offered their support to the owners of the site, one of the prominent ones being Vikkstar, co-owner of CDL team London Royal Ravens.

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The argument over SBMM will continue for time immemorial and SBMM Warzone is indeed providing a service like none other. It will be unfortunate if the site has to go down. Here’s hoping Activision pays some heed to the community they cater to and cut some slack to Ben and Dav.

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Avhinandan Chakraborty

564 articles

Avhinandan Chakraborty is an eSports author at EssentiallySports since August 2020. He is currently pursuing his Master's degree in English Literature from Calcutta University, and has been professionally writing since 2020. Ever since he was a child, he has been extremely passionate about online gaming and eSports, having played titles like GTA Vice City, FIFA, and IGI, among many others.

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