That was quick. Less than a week after release, Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War developer Treyarch has nerfed the MP5. The approach the studio has taken is two-pronged: opening recoil and effective damage range have been adjusted, as announced below:
#BlackOpsColdWar update: We've reduced the base effective damage range by 33% and adjusted the initial recoil for Submachine Gun Alpha. Now get out there and try the other four! 👊November 18, 2020
This will make the MP5 less of a threat at longer ranges, a capability that certainly went against the gun's spirit. This appears to be a targeted balance tweak, and not part of a larger set of weapons adjustments, which to me indicates that Treyarch considered this change to be urgent. Some in the community certainly thought so—as Morgan reported yesterday, the MP5 was outclassing sniper rifles and ARs in some situations, making it a frequent topic among the community with threads like "Nerf the MP5 already 2.0 (opens in new tab)" and "the mp5 is single-handedly destroying the game for me (opens in new tab)" springing up after release, among memes like this, which show an MP5 loaded into every equipment and Perk slot.
Versatility was perhaps the biggest gripe players had with the MP5: It shrugged off much of the game's focus on careful customization and specialization and appeared to work well in almost every situation. We wrote a Call of Duty MP5 guide in response to the gun's power and popularity, something we'll have to update on the other side of this patch to see where the gun now falls among CoD's library of guns.
ABOVE: A pre-patch moment that shows how effective the MP5 was in the right hands.
And to MP5 mains mourning this rebalance, let me share the words of Alan Johnson (opens in new tab): "The scythe is remorseless. I hope the scythe's remorseless swing can bring some comfort to you all."