Why are players getting easier lobbies after purchasing skins in Warzone 2?
Call of Duty: Warzone 2 is the successor to one of the most popular battle royale games of all time. Since its release in 2022, the title has received hundreds of in-game cosmetic items, which is the only method the title makes money for the publishers as it is free-to-play on all platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
To ensure that its sole money-making method is successful, Activision has put several strategies into play in the game's code. This algorithm works when a player purchases a skin, and it makes sure that they come back to buy more cosmetics again. This mechanic has been patented by the publishers as well.
How do players get easier Warzone 2 lobbies after purchasing skins?
As one of the industry's biggest gaming publishers, Activision has the best marketing tools at hand. Using them, the publishers have devised a way to influence the average customer to keep returning to buy more in-game cosmetics. This is done by modifying the matchmaking system after a purchase is made.
A patent regarding the same was filed by Activision in 2019. It was discovered by the internet in 2021 and is making rounds on social media again. It raised some issues regarding when a player buys a skin.
In simpler words, the system matches buyers against lesser-skilled players. This gives the purchaser the impression that buying in-game cosmetics makes them better at the game, which inevitably results in more purchases. As per the patent:
"The microtransaction engine may match a more expert player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed by the expert player. A junior player may wish to emulate the expert player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the expert player."
The aforementioned quote states that when a player purchases a weapon blueprint in Warzone 2, they are then put into battle royale matches against weaker opponents who also use that weapon. When the buyer eliminates their opponents using the new weapon skin, it entices the opponents to buy that in-game cosmetic, resulting in more sales for the publisher.
There are several instances of this system by Activision being put into play in Warzone 2, which have been posted on social media. However, no clear evidence exists that the publisher influences its matchmaking system to push sales. To avoid players exploiting the matchmaking algorithm, Activision has never revealed how the Call of Duty SBMM system works.
Nonetheless, this system is likely used in Warzone 2. Still, the theory cannot be confirmed because of the countless factors that decide an individual's opponents in the game, such as latency, time of day, player's SBMM rating, and more.