With E3 now behind us, we take a closer look at all the upcoming games that will try to enter the thriving battle royale genre.
Even though there were several titles that pioneered the genre before PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS ever entered the picture, PUBG will forever go down in history as the game that made all of it possible. Just months after the release, PUBG became one of the most popular and actively played games in the world, breaking several records at the same time.
Although made to be played casually at its core, it was only a matter of time before the game would become one of the fastest growing esports titles in the world. It took less than a year since the inception of the competitive scene to the announcement of PUBG Global invitational 2018 — a $2 million tournament to take place in Berlin, Germany, in a month’s time.
In retrospect, it was obvious that a game as successful as PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS would shake up the industry and spawn a flock of followers, all looking to secure a piece of the pie for themselves. And we caught a glimpse of what to expect during this year’s E3.
The real question is, how much of a competition will there really be for PUBG and can any of them have a future in the quickly evolving world of esports?
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
When it comes to esports, Call of Duty is no stranger. It’s been a big part of the scene for many years. Maybe not so much on PC lately, as most of the competition moved to console, but Call of Duty remained an important part of the rapidly growing esports industry.
The announcement for Black Ops 4 itself was nothing short of shocking. There’s no traditional, single-player campaign in the game for the first time in franchise history. Instead, there will be a battle royale mode titled Blackout.
Very little was revealed about the new mode, but we won’t have to wait long to find out more, as the game is set to release on 12th of October, 2018. Whether the game will offer a strong enough competitive aspect to enter esports is still up in the air, but one thing is sure — with Activision’s extensive history in competitive gaming, Black Ops 4 just might take battle royale esports to the next level.
Fear the Wolves
Vostok Games, developers of highly successful post-apocalyptic online shooter Survarium, announced their own entrance to battle royale during E3. The game titled Fear the Wolves is set to release this Summer.
The former makers of popular game series Stalker will be bringing battle royale to that very same deadly world, as the arena for the encounter is set in Chernobyl, where the dangers go far beyond the other players on the server. Anyone familiar with the Stalker games will recognize many of the dangers waiting for the players, including, but not limited to radiation, mutated animals, and of course, The Zone.
While Vostok Games have no experience publishing an esports game, there is still hope for Fear the Wolves in the competitive scene. Survarium takes pride in being a skill-based shooter and the developers are likely to bring some of that edge to their newest title. Will that be enough to keep the competition going only time will tell.
Mavericks: Proving Grounds
Mavericks is probably the most ambitious battle royale game to date, with the game offering 1000-player matches. That’s right, 1000 people on the same server, at the same time, competing for a single chicken dinner. And the FPS are apparently better than a certain game has with 40 people alive.
Now let’s just put it out there –no game with 1000 concurrent players will ever be an esport, not anytime soon, anyway. But Automaton’s Proving Grounds are still worth talking about. What impressed us the most wasn’t even the technical achievement in supporting that many players at the same time, but the new mechanics introduced by the developers, like the ability to track player footsteps or a more strategical approach to the gameplay.
Overall, Mavericks looks more like an MMO title than a competitive game, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. The closed beta starts this summer.
Although EA had never fully succeeded in pushing Battlefield as an esport (not for the lack of trying), DICE’s ability to make amazing shooters paired with the appeal of a battle royale game might just become a winning combination. The developers have been doing shooters on a massive scale for years, giving them a clear edge against the competition.
Although the team behind this project are keeping their cards close to their chest, it was made clear so far that the new Battlefield will combine core elements of a battle royale game together with fundamental franchize aspects — teamplay, tactics, all kinds of vehicles, and destruction on a massive scale.
Interestingly enough, Battlefield V is set to launch on 19th of October, 2018 — just one week after Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, keeping the long-lasting rivalry very much alive.
Created by the makers of an overwhelmingly popular webcomic Cyanide & Happiness, Rapture Rejects offers probably the most unique take on the genre we’ve seen all week.
While it may not have the best graphics, the most polished gameplay, or the backing of an AAA publisher, it has something long forgotten in the market of online games — it has character. All of that dry, dark humor, as well as the iconic art style so familiar to the readers of the webcomic has somehow managed to find its way into the battle royale game.
While the developers described the game in the same terms one might define any battle royale game out there — 100 players scavenge for resources and fight one another until only one remains — it still manages to bring something new to the table. There’s the top-down viewing angle, for one. And you can dance, too.
Facing competition as competent as Battlefield and Call of Duty will be a tough order for the small development team, but with the unique playstyle and different take on the genre, Rapture Rejects just might have what it takes to grab a small piece of that sweet chicken pie for themselves.
On February 4th, EA and Respawn, with no prior warning, released a new Battle Royale in the Titanfall universe — Apex Legends. The element of surprise worked out, and the shooter immediately overtook Fortnite on Twitch, and in the first 72 hours it surpassed ten million players.
The newest addition to the Natus Vincere PUBG squad, Dmitry “Recrent” Osintsev, told how he came to esports and why he chose Battle Royale from a Korean developer.
No stranger to competition, Benjamin “Nerf” Wheeler is a familiar name to fans of PUBG Esports, having competed seriously since 2017 and joining up with Cloud9 in August 2018.