Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM), a system that aims at matching players of similar skill level within the same game, was implemented into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019). The aim is to create a more balanced experience for everyone, as lower skilled players get separated and shielded from highly skilled ones. However, the vocal Call of Duty community hates the system, want it removed and do not hesitate to let developers know about it on a daily basis. It turns out the system actually offers significant benefits for the companies and games implementing it and as a result, it seems clear that Skill-Based Matchmaking is here to stay. Here is why.
The title of this post makes it clear: if some video game monetization strategies are deemed “acceptable” it certainly means that some others… aren’t!
Following various controversies and during these times of exploration, the video game industry seems in dire need of some guidance and clear lines not to cross when developing and implementing its monetization strategies. Therefore, it would be interesting to try to define what is and what constitutes “acceptable monetization” in video games.
This post delves deeper into the dark side of monetization, and tries to underline a few limits that should not be crossed by game publishers who aim at building long-lasting, trustful relationships with players.
One thing that has been clear in the last decade or so is that the video game industry is just as inventive when it comes to imagining innovative games pushing the boundaries of the medium, as it is to find new ways of monetizing them and enticing players into spending ever more money.
As a matter of fact, we are entering a time where consumer spending habits are changing, and therefore, the standards for monetizing and making money in games are adapting to answer them. This is the first time in more than 20 years that the business model is experiencing such a shift.
Many of these new models borrow from Free-to-play (F2P) – specifically from mobile games – and are becoming more common and prominent on console and PC. We heard a lot about loot boxes at the end of last year, but currently a new form of monetization is taking over: “games as a service”.