Is Everyone Jumping on the Battle Royale Bandwagon?

Battle Royale games have been rising in popularity since early 2017. The two most popular battle royale games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, currently have over 77 million players combined worldwide. Both games are predicted to bring in over $1 Billion in their first year alone. Combine this with their nearly overnight growth in popularity and it is clear that battle royale games have become a big threat to other game companies.

Battle Royale

The battle royale game type gets its name from a Japanese movie made in 2000 “Battle Royale”. In this movie a class of high school students are put on an island fight to the death until only one remains. In 2012 a similar movie was made in America, “The Hunger Games”.  With a PG-13 rating “The Hunger Games” was able to reach and influence a younger audience. Eventually these movies inspired game creators to make mods, or custom game types, with a Hunger Games theme in mind.

One of the more popular mods was created and cared for by Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown. His mod, with the help of “Unreal Engine 4” by Epic Games, would go on to become the stand-alone game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG for short. Shortly afterwards, Epic Games would release Fortnite, which appeared to be a cartoony copy of PUBG and used the same engine. This sparked some controversy which quickly died down.

Both games rose in popularity, and in a few short months each game had tens of millions of players worldwide. Other game companies took note of this and started plans to hop on the battle royale bandwagon. In an article on GameRant, Activision Blizzard talked about their new game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It is mentioned that this Call of Duty game will be significantly different from its predecessors as it will not have a campaign and will focus more on a team style combat in player versus player battle. Later Activision Blizzard went on to announce a battle royale mode would be added to the game to compete with Fortnite.

Activision Blizzard is not the only company to take a lesson from PUBG and Fortnite, DICE is also going to be adding a battle royale mode to their new game, Battlefield V. DICE’s battle royale mode, called Firestorm, is described as battle royale done the Battlefield way. In Firestorm sixteen teams of four fight to the last squad standing in a WWII themed battle ground.

Smaller gaming companies are also trying to get into the spotlight by making their own battle royale games. Games like the Darwin Project, Rapture Rejects, and Islands of Nyne are all battle royale inspired games hoping to make a few bucks before this new craze dies down.

battle royaleWhether or not you are a fan of the battle royale game type it seems to be growing in popularity and bringing more and more people into the videogame market. With free to play games like Fortnite people are more inclined to try out a game before they get hooked. The big titles in gaming are losing fans to these free to play games and are combating it with a “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude.

While some companies like Activision Blizzard are quick to change everything about their classic Call of Duty games, other companies are playing it safe. DICE is keeping with what they know and adding in a fresh take on battle royale; this move makes it look like they are not sure if the battle royale fad will continue in the future or not. Do you think that the battle royale games are here to stay, or are they just another footnote in gaming history?

-Lane Larson

About Brittney Edwards

I am graduate student studying Media Management at Southern Illinois University. My interests are in international media, gaming, and piracy.

5 thoughts on “Is Everyone Jumping on the Battle Royale Bandwagon?

  1. I always find it a little funny when a game does something revolutionary, and then all the other companies rush to try and create something that is no doubt the exact idea with a few tweaks. I think in the age of streaming battle royale style games will stay popular for a while. I’m just curious what the next “big thing” in multiplayer games will be after this.

  2. I feel like the battle royale game type is becoming less of a fad and more of a must have game type in competitive shooters. When Call of Duty zombies was released many game developers followed and implemented some sort of horde mode into their games. Now when a game is released into the shooter genre a horde mode is just expected and considered the norm and looking forwards i think the battle royale will eventually become part of the gaming norm as well

  3. I think companies are wanting to jump on the bandwagon because this battle royale mode is the hottest thing in gaming right now. But the obvious leader is Fortnite and the big part to their success is making the game free to play. Unlike Call of Duty’s new Blackout mode, I’m skeptic to spend $60 on the game and then end up not liking it.

  4. I agree with Tarrell in that it is funny to think that people will copy other ideas and make them there own. I think that because of how big Fortnite is that battle royale will stay relevant until a game company comes out with something unique and different. When this happens most game companies will migrate to that style of a game. It will be curious to see what is the next hit in the long running gaming industry but for now I think the gaming world will be dominated by Fortnite for a long time.

  5. I agree with Tarrel that it is funny when game companies and developers take an idea and copy a lot of the material into their own game. It will be interesting to see where gaming goes next but I don’t think anything will hit the gaming industry like Fortnite did. I think that battle royale games might die in the next year or so but Fortnite will stay relevant for a good amount of time.

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