Why are Battle Royale games so popular?


For several years, the battle royale genre has risen to the top of the gaming table. Since the release of PUBG and Fortnite, Battle Royale games have seen incredibly powerful growth in terms of popularity, market value, and overall availability. Today, battle royale games dominate the industry, from esports tournaments and streaming platforms to content creation and technological advancements.

But why are battle royale games so popular? – We are here today to offer a comprehensive answer to this crucial question. Why over the past five or six years have battle royale games become so popular and valuable?

Let’s find out.

Everything is a Battle Royale

Once upon a time, multiplayer games featured the simple concept of team A versus team B, and that was basically it. However, starting around 2015, DayZ and H1Z1 introduced a tantalizing concept: what if it was every man for himself, battling all other players at the same time? It was a free-for-all gone crazy, taking dozens, if not more than a hundred playersand throw them into a large open environment littered with weapons and equipment.

It’s the fundamental basis of most Battle Royale games, with most top-tier titles applying their own twist to the formula. Today, although the concept of “last man standing” is relatively simple, it has become a remarkable success. Today the likes of Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Apex Legends and PUBG are some of the most popular, most played and most watched games in the world.

For a while, every developer wanted in on the action. There was battle royale modes introduced across titles and platforms across the industry. For example, Forza featured a vehicular-based battle royale, Fall Guys created an animated experience, and Dying Light mixed the undead with the desperate not to die. It was an epic craze, driven by the inherently competitive nature of the human race, the concept of truly accessible platforms, and, for the most part, a free to play cover mechanic.

Battle Royale games: the winning formula

So, why are battle royale games so popular?

First, let’s consider the fundamental nature of a battle royale game – the competitive environment in which players immerse themselves. On the face of it, that would be enough for a game to succeed, but let’s make it worse by raising the stakes and giving players the ability to stand out above a hundred (or more) competitors. As Walter White of Breaking Bad said, “Being the best at something is a very rare thing.”

Next, let’s look at the working model of the best battle royale games. Typically, a battle royale title will be free, with an optional subscription traditionally labeled as a “battle pass”. Moreover, these games are usually cross-platform, opening up a truly versatile and far-reaching audience. Fortnite is a fantastic example, with players able to team up across mobile, PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo platforms.

If we take a look at the games themselves, we’ll also be able to identify the core mechanics (for the most part), as well as focus on a shiny, collector-focused aesthetic. Most battle royale games are easy to master, they are massively popular among streamers and content creators, and they’re relatively easy for developers to use. It costs very little for a developer to launch a battle royale platform and keep updating it over time – as is the case with Warzone, Fortnite and Apex Legends.

It’s a dynamic and winning formula, and all of these elements together highlight why battle royale games are so popular.

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