What is happening to the Battle Royale genre?
As the Epic Games versus Apple court case rages, a lot of – potential – ideas surrounding the game have been thrown around. What’s with all the experimentation and deviation from the formula?
No longer in its infancy
It’s been quite a while since Minecraft Hunger Games and PUBG popularized the Battle Royale genre and over the years multiple different iterations of the Battle Royale genre has popped up. Even today some of the popular Battle Royale games, such as Warzone, Apex Legends, Fortnite and PUBG are still posting amazing numbers and can still boast a huge number of players.
Battle Lab has returned! Explore the Island, take screenshots, and enjoy a relaxing stroll through Sweaty Sands. pic.twitter.com/ZAnLvzx3FV
— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) May 4, 2021
The genre itself became one of the most popular gaming genres among casual players and propelled a lot of streamers on Twitch to fame, with lots of developers bringing their own take on the Battle Royale genre to cash in on the hype. Fortnite itself wasn’t originally planned as a Battle Royale, but the game was molded and shifted around to become one. Has the genre on its own run out of gimmicks, however?
No more directions to explore?
Recently it seems that a lot of the Battle Royale games are shifting away more and more from what they originally set out to be. Epic Games has already said they want Fortnite to be more of a ‘social experience’ and a ‘social hub’, something they’ve already taken numerous steps towards with the new in-game creative hubs and social gatherings through in-game concerts and the like.
Apex Legends: Legacy, including the all-new Arenas mode, Valkyrie, and Battle Pass, is officially live across all platforms! pic.twitter.com/nRXDk1NODP
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) May 5, 2021
Even Apex Legends is doing something similar, bringing in more variations on the original Battle Royale genre (while still retaining the original Battle Royale mode). In any case, it does seem like everything Battle Royale has to offer has been explored in a way, and developers are looking to convert their player base and open them up to new experiences within their game.
Perhaps that’s just the natural progression for a lot of these games. While they attract a massive audience, the market has surely been saturated for a while now. With multiple new competitors and games popping up, it does seem like the player base has broken up in different niches and groups. It can surely be argued that Fortnite caters to a completely different group of people than something like Warzone does, perhaps in part out of necessity as well.
How will the genre evolve further?
Looking at the popularity of current Battle Royale games, it’s safe to say they’re now firmly established, with big developers behind them. While the novelty may have worn off, the idea behind these games have amazing staying power and do keep people engaged. It’s only natural that developers are looking to explore other avenues within the Battle Royale genre. Also, while the genre itself may have firmly planted its roots, the esports scene for Battle Royale games is arguably still in its infancy. It’s safe to say we’ll continue to see a lot of experimentation within the genre for quite some time.
100 million players and counting.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) April 20, 2021
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Image Credit: Epic Games