What happened to Battle Royales?
by Ashley Robinson

The standard Battle Royale genre of game was started by PlayerUnknown's Battle Grounds, or 'PUBG'. It's insane popularity attributed to its military simulator aesthetic and nail biting premise spawned a wave of likeminded games. From this, we saw Fortnite, a base building team defence game, become a huge Battle Royale style game that has captured the imaginations of a new generation of gamers. It had less of the awkward mechanics of PUBG, presenting a more trimmed down and polished version with a cartoon façade to match. While other BRs followed in their footsteps, memorably Ring of Elysium and H1Z1 (which technically predated PUBG, but PUBG's creator went on to make PUBG - don't worry about it), but none of them managed to gain the wide spread acclaim as the two powerhouses themselves.


Even Call Of Duty, arguably the most famous modern first person shooter, got in on the action. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare's Warzone quickly managed to rise through the ranks and give the Battle Royale scene the triple A treatment, with Titanfalls universe also throwing their hat into the ring with Apex Legends, alongside the figurehead of First Person Shooters Counter-Strike: Global Offensive dropping Dangerzone too.

It's impossible to deny that the Battle Royale model is astonishingly popular; possibly because of the exciting mix of adventure and looting. While a traditional first person shooter focuses on arena combat, where players face off in an enclosed environment, a Battle Royale sees everyone scramble to find weapons, armour and gear on a huge area before trying to sabotage, hunt and assassinate all other combatants until there is only one team left standing, all while being pushed into the same bit of land by some means.

However, it seems like the Battle Royale trend is coming to a slow. That's not to say they have fallen out of popularity, Fortnight still has millions of worldwide players competing on PC, consoles and mobile phones. No - what we mean is that there was a period where it felt like every games developer was rushing to put out a Battle Royale in their game to keep up with the times, and while it was exciting to see what wild concepts were brought to the table, it made the market feel incredibly saturated.


Saturation can be a good thing - having more options for gamers to choose from is always going to be a positive, but when the market becomes oversaturated, it can make it hard to pick the good from the bad. Think about it, if you want to race Formula One cars in a simulator, your only options are the official formula one games or mods on a racing simulator. This means you have less choice, but if you buy into the official F1 game, it's likely that all your friends who also enjoy racing will also have that game. With Battle Royales, its less so - you might have a soft spot for a smaller game like Realm Royale, but all your friends are fragmented between Fortnight, Warzone and Apex Legends.

Considering their immense popularity, its safe to say that Battle Royales won't be going anywhere for a long time. The interesting part now is watching if game publishes continue to develop and create Battle Royale style games, or if they choose to leave it to the big dogs and focus on their own format.