All aboard the battle royale hype train.
If the gaming industry loves anything, it’s a trend to jump on: season passes, microtransactions, pre-order bonuses, loot boxes - your favorite developers have tried them all. This year’s E3 was packed with the industry’s latest obsession: the battle royale mode.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, the mode has its roots in player mods for ARMA 2 and Minecraft, but really took oﬀ as its own genre when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds became a surprise hit last year, pitting 100 players against each other in an open world arena last-man-standing fight to the death. Since then, every game from Dota 2 to GTA Online has made their own version of the mode, and you’ll soon find it in the latest annual blockbusters including Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Battlefield V.
There’s no better example of the popularity of the genre than Epic’s Fortnite, which didn’t even begin life as a battle royale game, but somehow managed to pivot away from being an underwhelming mashup of Minecraft and Left 4 Dead and turn itself into the biggest game of 2018, with a 125 million player base that includes celebrity fans Drake, Travis Scott, and Joe Jonas.
So what’s the next big game to become a battle royale hit? We have some ideas.
Despite parent company Activision jumping onto the battle royale bandwagon, Blizzard has so far been resistant, with not even a tease of a 100-man World of Warcraft arena. We suspect it’s because they’re gearing up for a 100 hero Overwatch battle royale mode. But in keeping with the spirit of the game, Blizzard will want to retain the one hero limit from the game’s regular game modes, which means you’ll have to wait until they release 72 more heroes.
The Sims 4
100 Sims get invited to a party, then a mysterious invisible force starts deleting all of the doors and windows. The winner is whichever Sim can avoid freaking out and peeing in the corner the longest - or dying from starvation, whichever comes first.
100 players skydive onto a football pitch that starts out regulation size but shrinks every two minutes, while “world renowned FIFA approved football referee” (or at least that’s what his Twitter bio says), Mehmet Yildiraz, runs around handing out red cards to anyone within a ten meter radius. The last man not sent oﬀ wins. Players may attempt to protest their red card by gesticulating wildly and exclaiming “he’s pulling a Neymar!” 10,000 FIFA coins to enter, with one bronze player pack to the lucky winner.
Musical Chairs: The Game
Old school gaming is another popular trend, and this new triple AAA title from EA Sports goes about as old school as you can go with this classic game from your childhood. 100 players, and an ever decreasing number of chairs – who will be the last man sitting? Featuring licensed music from Kanye West and that guy that wrote Despacito but will probably never be heard from again. Don’t forget to pre-order for an exclusive in-game seat cushion.
PICTURES BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT, ELECTRONIC ARTS,123RF