When it comes to the latest hot video game, “Fortnite” and “Player Unknown Battleground” (PUBG) are the ones people are talking about. With millions of players battling it out every single day, it’s clear that the battle royale genre is going to be incredibly popular for the next few years.
Yet, if any developer wants to make their fortune on the battle royale game, they are looking at a long road ahead of them. The two leading games have a firm hold on the market, and if any other games are to have any success, here are some of the things they will need to achieve:
Don’t Compete with the Kings
Right now, a handful of battle royale games are on the market, but the clear leaders are Fortnite and PUBG. They aren’t even the first of the genre, with H1Z1 being the first to publish the battle royale game.
In the next few years, the gaming market can expect to be filled with battle royale games. It’s the trend of the game industry when the next big idea comes out; everybody wants a piece of the pie. When “World of Warcraft” broke open the MMO world, tons of other developers made their own. The same happened with first-person shooters, MOBAs, clones of Minecraft, and more.
If history has taught us anything about the game industry, it’s not to make a direct competitor to the genre king. Only one or two similar games in a hot genre have any long-term success. Dozens of MMOs came out after WoW, but none had the same results. For a while, every company was trying to piggyback off of “Call of Duty,” but fell by the wayside. The biggest lesson to take from this is, if there is a king of the genre already, don’t directly compete with them.
Mash up the Genres
The 3rd person shooter battle royale game has been locked down by PUBG and “Fortnite.” If they want a more realistic shooter, they’ll go with PUBG, or if they want something sillier with a building element, they’ll go with “Fortnite.” Instead of trying to steal away one of these game’s players, find a way to stand out.
Don’t just make another shooter battle royale; find a way to be unique. Try mashing up the battle royale mode with another genre of game. Have it revolve around vehicles as weapons, Mad Max style, or make it fantasy based with swords and spells.
That way, it’s not just another battle royale game; it provides something unique to draw people in. Some gamers out there don’t care for shooter games but would love a battle royale focusing on hand-to-hand combat or tactics.
Make a Battle Royale Off an Existing IP
There are tons of instances where a beloved IP jumps between genres to make even more games. Mario, Nintendo’s golden boy, has been in nearly every genre there is, from playing tennis and golf to go-kart racing and everything in between.
One prime example of this was “Grand Theft Auto V’s” version of battle royale. While not the most successful mode, it did add extra value to the game and was a hit with the game’s fans.
Branching out based on a brand is a very smart way to expand the series to include more and more fans. This isn’t just in gaming, but in the business in general. Rather than having a weird party game developed, Nintendo made “Mario Party.” Players have a general idea of what type of content to expect and can recognize Mario branding, even though the game is wildly different from the main Mario series.
Battle Royale Games for New Age Markets
The two industry leaders are rated Teen by the ESRB and both marketed as such. Neither focus on blood, gore, or intense violence, as they are looking to appeal to a wide audience.
Focusing on a specific target market and gearing a game around it could mean creating a following for that age or market. Maybe you want to make a battle royale style game for younger players? That means including child-friendly elements and recognizing that adults monitor what their kids play in today’s world. You could go for the opposite end of the spectrum and target a more mature crowd. That doesn’t just mean adding blood and gore; it makes learning more complex and sophisticated.
Skip Battle Royale, Make the Next Big Series
Of course, the hype around the series might already cool off by the time a developer makes a full-fledged battle royale game. Sure, there will always be people playing these styles of games, but the majority will have gone to the next big thing in a few years.
Instead of following the crowd, look to be the trendsetter. Come up with a new idea for a game and try it out. Predict where the game’s industry is going next and be a part of it.
Enjoy your favorite PUBG game on the PS4 Console.