If you haven’t of Battle Royale, then you apparently have been living under a rock the last year or so – and have not played Fortnite! This word, and genre have been taking the online gaming community by storm (no pun intended). After the success of a similar game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’, shed some light on this “Last Man Standing” style of gameplay – the free to play Fortnite from Epic Games became hugely popular beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. So what is so great about these type of games? Why is Fortnite so popular? To answer this question let’s take a look at the history behind the name that started the genre.
History of Battle Royale
The name for the genre is taken from the 2000 Japanese film “Battle Royale”, where a group of high school students are forced to fight to the death until only one survives – which presents a similar theme of a last-man-standing competition in a shrinking play zone to inspire conflict. Not to be confused with “Casino Royale” (also a great film!) where Bond earns his license to kill on an assignment to bankrupt terrorist financier Le Chiffre in a high-stakes poker game – Battle Royale is similar though in that it gives you a thrill as exciting as uncovering a winning poker hand, playing on vacation, or pulling the slot lever that pours out a jackpot – the stakes are high and the payoffs are higher!
It’s easy to trace the short term history of Battle Royale, but where was it showing up first in gaming? Some could say that the tride and true Bomberman series, originally developed by Hudson Soft in 1983, was one of the first “last man standing” games – but in this current form of Battle Royale the cloest would probably be the many old school online games incorporated a “dwindling” player base per round such as Counter Strike (came out in 2000, and was the bomb) which as a First Person Shooter where you were on a team (Terrorist or Counter Terrorist) and the team won based on the surviving players – last people alive on the other team win – if you die you had to sit out and watch until the round ended. More recently there were some “Hunger Games” style mods made for Minecraft that showed up in some popular servers that really gained a lot of notoriety (and possibly helped the spawning of games like Roblox).
The most current generation of Battle Royale games are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, H1Z1, ArmA, DayZ Fortnite, PUBG, and of course all of the mods that make battle royale modes possible in games like Minecraft, and even Grand Theft Auto! Another popular mod was the actual Brendan “Playerunknown” Greene’s Arma2 mod. Many say Greene is the instigator of all of the battle royale tomfoolery!
Winner Takes All
Whoever started it – no one seems to be interested in stopping it. While these types of games in the past popping up organically, after seeing the pure unadulterated success of Fortnite’s Battle Royale campaign – there are for sure some copycats floating around. Most recently Grand Theft Auto V’s GTA ONLINE released an official mod called “Motor Wars” that didn’t go over too well, but there is much hype for the new mod “Complex Control”. Who doesn’t want to throw their hat into the battle royale ring of fame after all? Some other established games that have added a battle royale-inspired gamemode are Paladins, Dota 2, and Battlerite – and they aren’t the only ones. There are even some new challengers approaching the genre such as Dying Light: Bad Blood which is an undead parkour style game, definitely wouldn’t expect something like that to have battle royale – but then again, the Chineese version of Call of Duty Online now has a battle royale mode!
With all of these game developers and publishers lining up to take your cash for another battle royale game, I guess it’s true that you can’t own a genre. But can you PWN a genre? We’ll see who is the last game standing – it will be exciting to see! If you are new to Fortnite and trying to overcome the steep learning curve there be sure to check out these Fortnite tips and tricks!
What games are you playing right now? Are you into battle royale? You like fortnite? Hate it? Let us know in the comments below, thanks for reading!