Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Rise of Best Battle Royale video Games

The rise and rise of the “Battle Royale” genre of video games has been quite remarkable. The rapid progression of titles such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite matches the pace and intensity of any online session of those games. What makes this even more astonishing is that it has reappropriated a phrase that had been around for a long time. 

battle royale games

Any wrestling fan will know a “Battle Royal” is a match-up where wrestlers try to throw each other over the top rope with the aim of being the last one standing. WWE made this move most famous with their annual “Royal Rumble” event, starting in 1988. Thanks to the 1999 Japanese novel and its 2000 cult hit film adaptation, Battle Royale, an “e” was added and has become the standout phrasing to recognizing a battle to the death until one survives. 

In Battle Royale, a fictional fascist regime imposed the Battle Experiment No. 68 program where fifty students kidnapped and dropped onto a remote location. They are told they must kill the each other and be the last person standing to return to civilization. While the battle royale genre of games is a bit more light-hearted than this piece of dystopia, their basic fundamentals owe a lot of gratitude to Koushun Takami, the author of the novel. However, the origin of the genre in gaming stemmed from another familiar source.

Where did Battle Royale games originate?

It was shortly after the release of the hugely popular film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s novel The Hunger Games, in 2012, that gamers started to experiment with a battle royale mode. As with everything else creative in gaming in 2012, it was first created using Minecraft with the “Survival Games” mode. Players competed for resources in combat. Ultimately, players are eliminated with the last surviving player wins the match. The mode itself could have easily slipped away into the background as most usually do. But with Youtubers, AntVenom and SkyDoesMinecraft showcasing the mode to their many subscribers, it gained some popularity.

Because of this growing interest in the idea of players competing over resources, the early access title DayZ found itself having mods created for it that centered on players being the last to survive the games harsh zombie environments - the game itself was a mod from ARMA 2. It was there, in 2013, that Brendan Greene - known by his online alias “PlayerUnknown” - continued to develop the idea. His work as a consultant on Sony’s H1Z1: King of the Hill further developed the concept before perfecting it for developers Bluehole with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). 

PUBG’s release on early access, in March 2017, garnered a lot of interest. The central change to the concept was that weapons were randomly scattered across the map but the map itself would evolve over time. Despite wanting a square safe area that would get smaller and smaller, Greene’s lack of experience in coding led to the use of a circular zone. This meant that the player’s extra aim was to make sure they were within the safe zone before the timer ran out for each wave or face damage.
PUBG - battle royale games

The release of PUBG and its rise in popularity created a new interest in the genre. In September 2017, the game broke the record for the most number of concurrent players - amassing a total of 1,348,374 gamers playing it at once. 

In the same year, Epic Games saw an opportunity with their modestly successful title, Fortnite, which had entered early access around the same time as PUBG. Taking its core gameplay of fort building and extrapolating it onto the royale formula, it released the standalone title Fortnite: Battle Royale. It quickly garnered player counts similar to PUBG, before ultimately surpassing it in players and revenue by early 2018.

The Social Impact of Battle Royale

Fortnite’s success is ultimately down to its standing on social media and its seamless accessibility. The “free-to-play” model made it available to everybody, especially when the game was unleashed onto the Playstation 4’s huge player base - with PUBG on PC & Xbox One only. Fortnite’s easy to pick up gameplay has allowed casual gamers to enjoy it as well. This has included celebrities like rapper Drake playing with famous Youtuber “Ninja” which set a new Twitch record for concurrent viewership. Everybody from actors to NFL players was playing the game. Sportspeople are, to this day, using the in-game taunts as celebrations.

FortNight - battle royale games

Fortnite has also bridged itself into the mainstream enough that non-gamers recognize its title. It was even deemed big enough for news outlets to report on the game’s servers going down, back in April, including BBC News. 

Bringing the battle royale to the masses was a killer move and certainly, one Epic Games would have watched with glee as it seemed to happen quite organically. Obviously, such popularity for a video game meant it was ammunition for the usual “video games are ruining our children” argument that never ceases to go away. China was the first country to declare that they would “discourage” their citizens from playing battle royale games as they do not fit the values of socialism. This has not stopped numerous clones of PUBG appearing across the republic, however. 

In Britain, parents expressed some concern about the amount of time their children are spending on the game, especially as a 13-year-old British boy is now signed on to be the youngest competitive Fortnite player. The usual argument of too much time spent indoors with it distracting them from their school work found its way into news columns - even more so after the release of a mobile version of the game (something PUBG also did).

Consequently, the social aspect is a huge part of Fortnite’s success. Everybody on one map can speak to each other without restriction. With “duos” and “squad” options available, the first question a child might ask a friend now is, “When are you coming on Fortnite?” With the lack of restriction on chat, there is a concern that children could be vulnerable to stranger danger fears.

What is the future of Battle Royale games?

With Fortnite having an Infinity Gauntlet sized grip on the Battle Royale genre - just as it starts its first dip into paired content with Marvel Avengers: Infinity War - all eyes are on the future of the genre especially those belonging to every major company in the gaming industry. 

Rumors are rife that other big titles will have to look at engaging the appetite for the genre. It’s inevitable, as stocks in the likes of Activision and Rockstar Games have been hit by the popularity of battle royale titles. Both have games that depend on a regular flow of concurrent players which are being lost to Fortnite and PUBG. Will Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption contain battle royale modes on release? At this point, it is only just a rumor that they are but they would be foolish not to consider it.

The battle royale market is set to become flooded with similar titles during 2018. It will give players the choice of how they want their style of royale gaming to be. There’s a huge chance that the market could get over saturated but no matter the release, they face an uphill struggle to take players attention away from the market leaders.

Future Battle Royale Games

Whatever happens in the future, the battle royale genre has shaken the industry to get creative and look for experiences that are different from the usual deathmatches of first/third person shooters. There’s no chance of the games being the last genre standing but it has made publishers and developers take notice. Having too much of the same thing bores an audience and Fortnite and PUBG found the niche that became the next big thing. The question is: how long can they sustain it for?

Looking to take your Battle Royale gaming to the next level? DigiZani is a leading retailer of in-game currency, store vouchers, and PC game keys, with the latest releases available across all consoles.

Author:      Lee Savery

Author Bio: Lee Savery is a content writer at DigiZani, specialist retailers of in-game currency, store vouchers, and Steam digital dow

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