Following intense criticism of the current approach to skill matchmaking, Apex Legends will be moving to a new system by the start of the new year. This follows revelations that the developer has long relied on the highest ranked player to set the standard for each match, often resulting in lopsided blowouts for less experienced players.
The blowback reached a critical point when professional Apex Legends player and Twitch streamer Snip3down had exactly this problem, and commented about the situation on Twitter. And surprisingly, the comment drew a response from the game’s developers at Respawn Entertainment, and in particular technical director Samy Duc, resulting in the following exchange:
SBMM will change, for the moment it is based on the highest player in the group and it will most likely mutate to something else (surprise surprise) mid december / new year. We will communicate more in the new year about this, but I hope it will allow to work for you and wife— Samy Duc (@ricklesauceur) November 22, 2022
Now to be fair, Respawn did try the usual practice of using averages, but at the time it didn’t work out for the game. However, as the game’s user base has exploded as the game releases on more devices including iPhone, Xbox Series X and S, and PlayStation 5, the highest-ranking player strategy clearly ain’t working like it used to.
It should also be noted that it is exceedingly rare for a developer to publicly acknowledge that there’s an issue with a fix on the way, or to divulge any hint of behind-the-scenes work, but in this case the acknowledgement of a major problem and a planned fix is a welcome change from the norm in the face of a major sticking point with the game’s community.