What a year to be a gamer!
The Battle Royale genre has come a long way since being an Arma mod, and frankly its a genre that was needed large scale pvp of this variety is not available in any other format, while many games offer large modes of pvp, it is often faction based, and far from the 99 vs one feeling of a solo Battle Royale match.
In this article, we will recap the year and how the games are fairing, as well as cover newcomers to the genre.
- Fortnite: The undisputed King of Battle Royale continues to grow from strength to strength, fantastic user engagement, new updates on a near-weekly basis and a massive dedicated fan base Fortnite could every well be around a decade from now.
- PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds: The King of Steam Battle Royales, PuBG had another amazing year, while its growth has slowed and it has started to decline in player numbers overall, the massive progress made by the developers to address bugs has added longevity to the game, and helped give the title a renewed lease of life, while the event pass fiasco was one of the biggest gaming mistakes of 2018, overall its been a solid year for a solid game.
- Infected Battlegrounds: with an all-time high of 7 players, this game never had a chance while the NPC zombie idea was interesting, the game simply never garnered any sort of userbase.
- Fractured Lands: with an all-time high of under 200, and a daily high of 13, despite its novel approach to the genre it simply was priced far too high.
- Last Tide: with an, an all-time high of just under 1k, and a daily high of 200, this game fairs a little better than the rest, yet is struggling to gain a userbase, despite its very interesting underwater theme.
- Tiger Knight: A twice failed games attempt to launch a BR DLC, resulting in a poorly supported and barley played Battle Royale title.
- Islands of Nyne: When I reviewed this poorly I was called a jerk by several who felt I misjudged the game, now only a few weeks later the games CCU has shrunk from 7200+ to a peak of 48, nice idea, just poorly executed, it is unlikely ever to recover.
- Battle Royale: Survivors: This was straight up garbage and rightly rejected by the steam community at large, with a ccu of 6, it’s dead and won’t be coming back.
- SOS Battle Royale: the classic model of this game was great, it was simply overpriced, instead of fixing the overpricing of the classic mode, they released a separate BR mode, and ceased to develop the mode people liked, with a high of 36 players, it’s dead and won’t be coming back.
- Cuisine Royale: This game was a lot of fun, and a great gimmick, of course, gimmicks, cannot sustain you long term, a quality game, and I look forward to serious entries to the genre from this developer, yet never the less, its dying with ccu of sub 500, and showing a steady decline in numbers consistently.
- Darwin Project: one of my personal favourite Battle Royale games, with a lot of positives and very few negatives it shouldn’t be on this list, alas few games can compete with Fortnite and DP isn’t one of them, and with sub around 1k peak for last 3 months, it won’t die anytime soon, yet it needs a real boost to break out of the failed BR bracket.
- Accurate Battlegrounds: Another gimmick game that had a short-lived moment of fame, from 29k to 220 ccu it’s a long fall, and one that the game won’t recover from.
- Robocraft Royale: launched and died all within the space of a few weeks, a decent game on paper, yet was lacking a lot of the core mechanics people come to expect from the genre and parent IP.
- Crusaders of Light: very much like Darwin Project, it is a very different take on the genre, yet failed to capture a large enough audience, ccu is mostly below 800.
- Radical Heights: with hatred for Cliffy B aside this was a pretty decent BR game, yet so close after the disaster which was lawbreakers, steam was not willing to forgive and forget, development ceased within a few weeks of release.
- Last Man Standing: This game should have closed down years ago, limping on with an average CCU of 100 players at all times it looks set to spend at least a few more months in its undead state.
- Horizon source: a Fortnite/Overwatch clone, doomed to fail, despite not being awful we all knew it wasn’t going to last, average ccu is under 15 players at peak.
- Realm Royale: a game with squandered fantastic promise, Realm Royle has fallen from 100k plus ccu to under 750 as I write this, can HiRez turn around the sinking ship? It’s possible as while Paladins is nowhere near the powerhouse that is Overwatch. It remains actively developed to this day. I hope the same for RR as its not a bad game overall.
- Infestation The New Z: while not awful this game is just a mess of micro-transactions, many of which fall close to P2W, with a ccu of 800-1200 its a stable niche Br, but one I wouldn’t invest time in.
- H1z1: right now it’s in bad shape, yet with Jace Hall now on board and a new company formed to handle PC development, and talks of rolling back to Pre-Season 3 mechanics, H1z1 could actually make a small comeback.
And the Hopeful.
- Black Ops IV Blackout: With fantastic player feedback from Ps4 players, and the open beta for Pc to drop this weekend, I am eager to get my hands on this, It certainly looks like it may put some pressure on PuBG & Fortnite, and could very well bury many of the smaller BR games entirely.
- Battlefield V Firestorm: While many in the industry take the lower than normal pre-orders to mean the game is being rejected wholesale, Its obvious the main reason for lower PC pre-order is the game’s availability as a 10 hour trial on origin basic and an unlimited full version on origin premier, having played the game hands-on, I can safely say its the Best BF game since BF 3.
- Mavericks Proving Ground: a 1000 man BR? yes please! while the larger modes and open-world aspects of this game are a little further out, September sees the launch of the Battle Royale mode, and for once it’s not made on Unreal Engine 4, but Cry engine instead!
- Dying Light- Bad blood: A melee and parkour based Battle Royale game? With zombies.. darling you had me at Zombies, a very interesting addition to the genre that may shake things up.