Battle Royale Meta: Which Battle Royale Game Will Be the Last Game Standing?

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With the release of Call of Duty, we have received are first arguable “triple A” Battle Royale game in the market – meaning it was developed and published by one of the large, big name studios with a large backing and funding. Many predicted this as the doom of games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) or some of the other smaller Battle Royale games.

It will be some time until this statement may or may not found out to be true, but I am of the opinion that there is room for many Battle Royale games in the market.

Let me tell you upfront though: I’m addicted to Battle Royale as a genre. I grew up on the mean streets (heh) of DayZ mod, which was a sort of precursor to the Battle Royale genre. Take one guess of what my favorite element of those survival style games was? Player vs. Player combat.

I loved the importantce and value I put on my virtual characters life. While the standard death match games like Call of Duty or Battlefield were enjoyable, I never found a long lasting appeal because ultimately you would end up carelessly throwing away virtual life after virtual life.

The advent of survival games and the potential to lose hard earned gear (and real life hours) blew my mind. Battle Royale is a lower stakes version of that in the sense you “restart” every game with new loot, gear, and other items. It sort of balances the survival element with the joy of randomly generated looting found in other RPGs I enjoyed growing up, such as Diablo or Dungeon Siege.

So – what makes me believe there’s a lot of room for multiple Battle Royale games, compared to a market like MOBAs, which have seemed to settle into a “dominant three” of League of Legends, DOTA 2, and arguably Heroes of the Storm? Well, Battle Royale offers a much broader interpretation of  genre than those games for one.

When I play a MOBA, while there are often variations between the different games, I tend to find they all sort of feel the same or take placed in a similar setting. The game has a pretty standard top-down perspective. Generally the out come is always the same: one team pushes in and wipes out the other team. It contains a progression system to level up your character to some degree.

Battle Royale has much less limiting genre. It’s a shooter game, but not always. It’s generally last person standing, but not always (see: Ring of Elysium). Other than that, it’s pretty open to the creator’s interpretation. We’ve seen some quick demises of Battle Royale games, such as Island of Nyne, but I think we’ve still got a lot to see.

The beauty of Battle Royale is that because it’s so open to different creative ideas, it can be morphed and changed to appeal to a wider variety of games. While PUBG satisfies my itch for a tactical and pure shooter in the Battle Royale genre, Fortnite might satisfy my more Minecraft-y and builder instincts. Likewise, Call of Duty: Blackout satisfies my desire for a fast-paced, semi-realistic shooter with a bit more polish.

I’m hopeful we’ll start to see less copy cats in the Battle Royale genre, and I hope that we’ll begin to see more innovation with such an open genre.

I’ve long professed my love for seeing a super hero Battle Royale game with characters looting powers instead of weapons. Better yet, give me a Marvel game where we get to unlock and play as the famed characters from the comic book and cinematic universe in the setting of New York City (ala Marvel’s Spider-Man). Instead of picking up powers or loot we can pick up upgrades to deck out our beloved heroes as they duke it our with other players across the city (you’re welcome for the billion dollar idea, guys).

I’m excited to see the sort of…meta that unfolds in the Battle Royale genre. It’s like a Battle Royale of all the BR games to see which ones innovate, adapt, and compete against each other. I think there’s plenty of room for BR games to co-exist and thrive side-by-side. And that said, here’s some cool BR style games I’d love to see:

  • Sea-based Battle Royale game – think of controlling a pirate ship with your squad and blasting, boarding, and looting the booty of your sunken ships to be the last ship surviving (with the Sea of Thieves water tech, random storms, etc.)
  • A space based Battle Royale game. I’d love to see ships fighting it out in space for supremacy of being the last survivor.
  • An MMO Battle Royale. One of my big knocks on MMO PvP combat is it tends to get watered down and no side ever truly “wins the war,” instead they win small battles. What about a MMO scale BR game where one side can win (see: World War II Online)?
  • A slower paced Battle Royale where you ability to build/craft takes greater emphasis. More detailed and intricate building than we see in Fortnite, with having players who build smarter (not just faster) have a real advantage over others.

Phew, that was a much longer post than I expected. I hope you enjoyed the read, though! If you’d like to comment on this, feel free to drop me a Tweet at: @forencigames on Twitter. Likewise, if you want to talk live as I play games swing over my Twitch channel where I play Battle Royale games and everything in between at: www.twitch.tv/forenci1

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