Fortnite, PUBG, RUST, CoD’s Blackout, and the list keeps on growing… What is the hype behind all these battle royale games? In the past two years this went from a very obscure mod in a game, to a mainstream game experience.
For starters, what is a battle royale game? It is essentially being stuck in an open map and challenged with the task to survive. The very first existence of this mod is traced back to Minecraft, where a mod was released shortly after the Hunger Games movies; as this mod gained popularity, it spread to other survival mode games. Then we started to see it in games like DayZ, Rust, and H1Z1. These are open-map survival games, in these mods the player would be dropped in an enemy area and scavenge for supplies needed to survive. As these mods kept becoming increasingly popular, mod designer Brendan Greene decided to design a game around this mode and called it PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, PUBG. PUBG was released in early 2017, and quickly became very popular. Epic Games, also wanted in on the action and later that year released Fortnite: Battle Royale. Fortnite seemed to explode overnight, it’s free-to-play mode, battle-royale design, and Minecraft-like building capabilities was more than the people even knew to ask for.
Before the gaming world knew what hit it, gamers started streaming and uploading epic Fortnite and PUBG videos helping this already popular game grow even more. So what makes it so appealing? One theory is that gamers have been yearning for the the permadeath aspect to characters in video games, but this hasn’t been easily attainable and had terrified most game designers. Could battle royale survival mode be the ultimate answer, and why so many games are exploring it as a mode that should be included in their games? In these games, you do usually experience a permadeath; the longer you live, the more powerful and invested you become in the game, but the minute you die, you lose it all. This investment of players is also very entertaining, with game streaming on the rise, these type of games are very fun to watch.
What you experience in the game is ultimately up to the player and the other players they may encounter. This means every game will be a unique experience, also, the tensions in the game are extremely high, because you have no idea what is coming next.
Finally, will it stick around? I think it will, you see games like Call of Duty releasing their version in CoD: Black Ops 4 called Blackout. You will often find many players vastly entertained by this mode and favor it more than the other modes of the game. Red Dead Redemption also has a similar online mode called Make it Count. I think these bigger game names catering to this sand-box style survival mode speaks for itself. Gamers enjoy it and developers must deliver to keep the gamers invested. Let me know what you think in the comments below: have you tried this game mode, what’s your favorite, and where do you see future gaming going?