Battle Royale games have dominated the gaming landscape in recent years, captivating millions of players worldwide. However, as new trends emerge and player preferences evolve, some may wonder if the Battle Royale genre is losing its popularity.
Let’s explore that exact question by taking a peek at the history of Battle Royale, its mainstream appeal with games like Fortnite and PUBG, the current state of the genre, and what the future holds for Battle Royale fans.
What is Battle Royale?
To understand Battle Royale games, it's crucial to first define what they are. Battle Royale games involve a large number of players fighting against each other until only one remains standing. These games often incorporate a shrinking playable area, forcing players into intense encounters and strategic decision-making. The last player or team standing is crowned the victor.
While these games don’t necessarily need to be multiplayer, all the most popular battle royale’s are, as it sharpens the genre’s competitive edge.
The First Battle Royale:
The Battle Royale concept originated from a Japanese novel and film by Koushun Takami not-so-coincidentally titled "Battle Royale". The story’s narrative cantered around a group of students forced to fight to the death on a deserted island. The idea was very influential, seeping into other popular media like The Hunger Games. Then, the concept was adapted into video games, with the 2000 release of the "PlayerUnknown's Battle Royale" mod for the game Arma 2. This mod, of course, became Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, or what fans call PUBG.
Fortnite, PUBG and Mainstream Appeal:
While the original Arma 2 mod was released in 2000, it wasn’t until the late 2010s that the Battle Royale genre skyrocketed in popularity. This came with the releases of Fortnite and the full release of PUBG both in 2017. Fortnite, developed by Epic Games, introduced a free-to-play model and a unique building mechanic, attracting a massive player base across different age groups. PUBG, on the other hand, focused on a more realistic approach, capturing the attention of hardcore gamers.
These games brought Battle Royale into the mainstream, with their polished gameplay, accessibility, constant updates, and engaging gameplay. They also paved the way for the genre's integration into esports, leading to large-scale tournaments and significant prize pools.
The State of Battle Royale Today:
While Fortnite and PUBG continue to enjoy substantial player bases, the Battle Royale genre has become more saturated. Many developers jumped on the bandwagon after the success of these two landmark titles, leading to numerous Battle Royale releases. As a result, the market has become highly competitive, making it challenging for new entries to gain traction and retain players.
That said, some titles like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone managed to hold their own in the market, captivating slightly different groups of players and becoming the two key competitors to Fortnite and PUBG. Speaking of which, if you want to get ahead in Apex Legends you can buy PUBG Mobile accounts here.
It’s also worth noting that some casual variants of the battle royale formula appeared on the scene in the years following the success of Fortnite. Games like Fall Guys and it’s mobile clone Stumble Guys managed to attract large groups of players, streamers and media buzz.
But because of all of these games riffing off the exact same formula, some players may be experiencing Battle Royale fatigue. The repetitive nature of the genre, where matches often follow similar patterns, can lead to decreased interest over time. Moreover, the skill-based matchmaking systems implemented by some games may create a less enjoyable experience for casual players, potentially alienating a significant portion of the player base.
While the Battle Royale genre may no longer totally dominate the gaming industry as it once did, it is far from dying out. The initial explosion in popularity led to an influx of games, making the market highly competitive. Some players may have grown tired of the genre's repetitive nature, and skill-based matchmaking systems have presented challenges.
It's also worth noting that Battle Royale games have extended beyond just the gaming sphere. They have become cultural phenomena, with collaborations, events, and crossovers with popular franchises and celebrities. These collaborations help maintain interest and attract new players who may be drawn to the excitement and buzz surrounding these games.
Furthermore, the esports scene surrounding Battle Royale continues to grow. Major tournaments and leagues, such as the Fortnite World Cup and PUBG Global Championship, showcase the competitive nature of the genre and offer players the opportunity to pursue professional gaming careers.
This competitive aspect contributes to the longevity of Battle Royale games by fostering a dedicated player base and driving ongoing interest in the genre.
So, while some may question the future of Battle Royale games, it is important to remember that gaming trends are cyclical. As long as developers continue to push boundaries and deliver exciting and innovative experiences, Battle Royale games will remain a significant part of the gaming landscape for years to come.