It’s no secret now that Battle Royale games are big business, from the legendary PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) to newly emerged FPS lovers’ favourite Apex Legends. People spend much of their online gaming time enjoying the biggest shooter-type game on the planet.
A relative newcomer to the available selection of online game genres, the Battle Royale is now a serious contender to the popularity of other online games such as the MMO. First popularised by PUBG, these massive free-for-alls usually involve up to 100 players battling it out in huge maps until there’s one man left standing.
The Battle Royale started its life as a relatively humble enterprise. It began as a single mod for MILSIM (Military Simulation) franchise ARMA’s 3rd iteration. It became so popular that the developer, PlayerUnknown (or rather known: his name is Brendan Greene) – began to develop it as a standalone game, which would later be known affectionately to fans all over the world as PUBG.
PUBG and Twitch
PUBG was helped on its way to domination of the newly created Battle Royale genre in no small part by the Twitch streamers who helped popularise it. Arguably the first ‘big name’ streamer who brought it to the attention of the gaming masses – in its Arma 3 form – was ‘Lirik’, who regularly attracts an average of 23,000 viewers per stream, as Twitch itself published at https://twitchstats.net/streamer/lirik.
Another popular streamer who helped rocket PUBG to success was former professional CS:GO, player, ‘shroud’. Make no mistake, without PUBG blazing the trail for the genre, we’d never have seen smash-hit success stories such as Fortnite and more recently Apex Legends, whose player count, per https://www.pcgamesn.com/apex-legends/apex-legends-player-count, topped 50 million just a month after its release in February this year.
Similar genre success stories
Another online genre that has skyrocketed in terms of popularity in a similar timeframe to that of the Battle Royale is online Blackjack. No longer confined to the casino, Blackjack is now an immensely popular genre of online game.
It may seem complex at first, with a seemingly complicated set of rules and strategies, but the internet is a fantastic source of guides and tips on how to play blackjack for new players, as https://www.mrgreen.com/en/blackjack shows. If you’re an avid mathematician, this may well be the game for you, as the ‘correct’ way to play Blackjack is heavily thought to be linked with different mathematical strategies, encouraging a meticulous approach. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly is popular.
In addition to Blackjack, a genre that has seen a relatively recent rise in popularity is Hearthstone, Blizzard’s online digital collectable card game. Hearthstone uses the characters and lore of Blizzard’s ever-popular MMO World of Warcraft, challenging players to pit their wits against other like-minded gamers in a free-to-play experience.
With platforms such as Twitch, and now also Mixer and dlive, fuelling its popularity, the Battle Royale looks set to continue as one of the most popular online gaming genres in the world. That popularity means it sits within a highly competitive space, meaning developers looking to move into this genre really need to innovate. This environment leads to the evolution of specific and highly diverse IPs, most recently seen in Apex Legends. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see another new player emerge in the Battle Royale genre in the months and years to come, assuming – as we are – that its popularity continues.
For more featured articles, click HERE.