Activision has ordered the creators of SBMMWarzone.com to close the site by Monday.
The Belgian-based co-creators of SBMM Warzone said that lawyers representing Activision sent a termination and waived and demanded that the site be closed, citing privacy concerns.
SBMM Warzone uses the Call of Duty API to obtain player data and then provide useful statistics to players. Crucially, it organizes the Warzone lobbies in skill-based ranges, which players use to determine the overall skill of a lobby they have just played in. Instead of an official Warzone ranking system, players have flocked to SBMM Warzone in an effort to improve Understand the Call of Duty mysterious skill-based matchmaking system.
One of the creators of the site, Ben, told Eurogamer that he understands Activision’s concern. “When we get their data through their API, they no longer control it,” Ben said.
Ben explained that in order for SBMM Warzone to obtain this data, the player must have their profile made public and know the username of BattleNet, PSN or Xbox. The site then gets killings, deaths, number of wins and other statistics, such as a list of the player’s matches and the details of a match. “We do not get anything sensitive,” Ben insisted, “and only from public players.”
There has been a suggestion that Activision take issue with the fact that SBMM Warzone makes money on this player data via the website. SBMM Warzone runs ads and sells a premium membership of between $ 4 and $ 6, which unlocks additional data, such as the last 100 games, and the Gulag payout ratio over time.
Ben insisted that this revenue generation has nothing to do with Activision’s complaint. “Some people mention it on Twitter, but I do not know why they say it because it is not true, nor where they get that information.
“It has been clear to talk to the lawyers that the problem is about privacy. It is also funny that people mention it because we still have to pay for our servers and stuff.”
Ben said the refund will be made available if and when the site closes.
Ben is now desperate to work with Activision to achieve partner status for SBMM Warzone. Some similar third party websites, such as tracker.gg, are official partners with Activision and remain unaffected. Ben said he is willing to adjust SBMM Warzone and the way it does business to become a partner.
“What we ask them to do is just to discuss with us how we can become partners, and what we should have to change in order to comply.
“We are open to rebranding (changing names), changing some features and paying a commission to use their API, but for that we still need to get in touch.”
Ben said that he has tried to get in touch with Activision, but has not yet received an answer. “That’s what makes me most sad,” he said. “We want to be able to talk to them. We think there is so much more we can bring to this community.”
SBMM Warzone began in late 2020 and rose rapidly to prominence in the battle’s royal community, so it’s no surprise to see the community return to Ben as he desperately tries to save his site.
High-profile Warzone players have expressed their support on social media, and the SBMM Warzone website itself has issued a call for weapons.
Sorry to see this happening, since yours is a great resource, especially as there is currently no ranked system for Warzone. I intend to let Activision know about this.
– Vikkstar? (@ Vikkstar123) March 26, 2021
This sucks. You provided a good service. Unfortunately, I had a letter from the ATVI Legal team, so it is unlikely that anyone can talk to you. The answer from bottom to top will be “we can not comment, talk to the lawyers” & will it be?
– Drift0r (@ Drift0r) March 26, 2021
It is unclear whether Activision will listen – and if it does not before Monday, SBMM Warzone will close.
“Our main goal is to become partners,” said Ben, “and we still believe we can reach an agreement with Activision. We do not want to fight them, we are friendly matches.
“If that’s not possible, we have to turn it off, yes … unfortunately.”
SBMM has been a hot topic in the Call of Duty community for some time now, and some state-tracking sites have been forced to change the way they work after players used them to cheat the system.
In January, Eurogamer reported on the developer of a controversial third-party Warzone app that lets you see the lobby’s K / D ratio before a match starts.
Warzone – as well as Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare and Treyarch’s Black Ops Cold War – have all come under fire for the impact of SBMM, which has triggered a “reverse-boosting” craze – that is, deliberately dying to negatively affect your K. / D and in turn end up in lower skilled lobbies.
Some have suggested that Activision has targeted SBMM Warzone because of the lobby ranking system it provides and the insight it provides into the game’s SBMM under the hood.
However, Ben said he really believes Activision’s complaint is about privacy: “but whether it’s about privacy, SBMM itself (or any content on our site) or revenue generation, it’s a way to find common ground.”