With the release of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite in 2017, and Apex Legends in 2019, the world of video gaming entered into a new era. Gone was the traditional, linear experience of buying a video game and playing through an immersive storyline; in its stead was the battle royale genre.
Not only do these games feature exciting new mechanics and a far more accessible method of gameplay for the modern gamer, but they have completely reshaped how games are marketed, released and maintained after release. For example, most battle royale titles are now completely free to play; instead, they make their revenue through in-game purchasing on loot, items, and customizable skins.
But who is on top in the battle for supremacy over this popular genre?
With over 250 million registered users and players, Fortnite is certainly the easy answer to this question. The Epic Games release is easily the most recognizable, quoted and mainstream of all battle royale titles and has made huge waves in both the “everyday gamer” audience, as well as the increasingly popular Esports markets. Everyone around the world knows their “Take the L” dance from their “Floss” at this point.
Furthermore, Fortnite saw its popularity reach exciting new heights this year with the latest and most successful Fortnite World Cup. The 2019 edition took place in New York. It boasted a prize pool in excess of $30 million, and attracted viewership of over 2 million unique viewers for its Grand Final alone. Sixteen-year-old pro player Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf swept to victory in the solo strand of the tournament and cemented exactly why Esports, as an industry, is becoming seriously credible.
However, whilst Fortnite edges out in front from a marketability point of view, is it the best game on the market?
Apex Legends was released by EA in 2019 as a newcomer to the saturated battle royale market; however, it racked up 25 million players in its first week in the market and 50 million by the end of its first month on the shelves, and smashed records for free-to-play games.
The game asks a huge amount of skill from its players, requiring great communication and teamwork from its players; it also features some of the most fast-paced and intense gameplay within the genre. The sudden firefights that can break out between your team and your opponents require great levels of movement; you will need quick reflexes to gain the advantage.
As for PUBG, the massive battleground and free-for-all amongst the hundred combatants mean that victory is almost impossible without intense planning, map awareness, and strategy. The huge arena gets smaller and smaller throughout the game; it’s stocked and readily replenished with loot boxes and items that will separate you from your opponents.
Take Your Pick
Ultimately, gamers around the world are spoiled for choice when it comes to the battle royale genre. There is so much intense competition amongst its titles; publishers are constantly updating their games with patches and features that aim to distinguish themselves from the games around them.
The truth is that every leading battle royale title on the market offers something unique, that suits their preferred playstyle. To stay in the loop with the latest mainstream news and hype, Fortnite would definitely be your best bet. If strategy, planning, and item loot is something you love in a game then PUBG is the choice for you. Alternatively, for the adrenaline-pumping excitement that the genre can provide, there are few releases in the world better than Apex.
Competition in the marketplace is always healthy for an industry like the gaming world. The popularity of the battle royale sub-genre is showing no signs of slowing down. Gamers all around the world can relax; they are sure to continue enjoying a steady flow of improved gameplay, hyped features, and groundbreaking developments in the years to come.