Why Are the Most Popular Online Games Battle Royales?
Online gaming, especially in an age of cross-platform experiences, has found a surge in popularity over the last couple of years. Gaming is an experience that is not only enjoyable for oneself but to friends and family that want to play together.
However, of all online games, why does the battle royale format garner so much traction? With games like Madden that simulate real-life NFL matchups with your favorite teams and games like The Legend of Zelda with a unique open-world experience, you would think they would find their place on the top of the list.
Regardless, the battle royale comes out on top. PUBG has over 100 million active players, topping all online games, followed closely by Apex Legends and Fortnite. Of the top 5 most played online games, 4 of them are battle royales. With that being said, how and why do these games succeed and make it to the top?
These games are perfect for playing against real people and playing with your friends. What makes games like Madden difficult is how incompatible it is to play with a teammate. In most battle royales, you can play with groups of people of all different sizes.
Let’s look at Fortnite for example. You have countless options, from playing solo, riding with duos, or a squad of 4. They even offer seasonal options that spice up the game, adding challenges along the way.
The flexibility to play by yourself or with others is something not many other games can compare to. One of the biggest criticisms of the biggest single-player games is the inability to tag some friends along, making the experience more memorable.
Of the top 10 online games, 9 of them are free to download. 5 of these games are battle royale based or have a battle royale option. This makes the games easier for every market, from the highest payers to those who won’t spend a dime.
However, they still have in-game purchases. In most cases, battle royale in-game purchases have no effect on gameplay, rather an aesthetic or appearance. This caters to those willing to spend money on the game and earn the companies a profit.
One of the best parts about this platform is how straightforward it is. In almost every battle royale game, you follow the same path. Drop onto the map, pick up supplies, and end up as the last man/team standing.
Single player games don’t have that level of flexibility because of the lack of compatibility. Single player games revolve around story and world building, which is much more difficult to perfect.
Games like Fortnite do their own world and story building. As seasons pass, the map changes and develops a new storyline for the players to follow. This accompanies new items and a more unique experience for the players.
Possibly the biggest draw for these games is the ability to compete. The mixture of the simplicity and compatibility make it perfect for players to focus on taking down their opponents.
Firstly, the straightforward format of gameplay makes it much easier to focus on your objectives and opponents. It is almost a feeling of tunnel-vision, making your brain believe the stakes are much higher.
However, meshing the compatibility with competitiveness is the best part. Being able to compete with friends you may not normally be able to is an unmatched experience. Whether you live across the world from each other or you have contradicting schedules, the best medium to interact and have fun together is online gaming.
Pairing that with the battle royale format is even better. It’s almost a form of team building, bringing people closer together. You need to rely on each other and keep your friends safe, making the gameplay and commentary elite.
The battle royale format not only combines players from different platforms, but gives people a simple and compatible medium to compete with or against each other. With the winning formula and affordability, anybody can play the game to their liking.
Some question the skill gaps and platform differences, but they are always accounted for. Whether you play on your phone or on a $20,000 gaming PC, battle royale games will always find an audience.