The phrase "battle royale" has come a long way from being a hit Japanese novel and movie about students forced to murder one another on an island.
We've seen a lot of flavors of battle royale games since their debut in mods long ago. Popularity wise, though, it started with PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, a game spearheaded by a prolific modder of battle royale modes in Arma 2 and so on. Since then, we've been blessed with the likes of Fortnite, Ring of Elysium, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout, and now Respawn's Apex Legends, a battle royale in the world of Titanfall.
So what say you? Is it too much? Is the battle royale bubble about to pop? Let us know in the comments how you feel about the battle royale genre.
I don't have a problem with it. I can't say I play it much—I've enjoyed Apex Legends, but ultimately I have some many other games to play that it's not worth my time to stick with any one game. It's like a tiny vacation. I jump in, spend some time soaking up the local culture, and then I move on.
I can't really hate on a genre. A genre isn't inherently a positive or negative, it's just a matter of what's done around it. I got tired of campaign shooters set in World War II because everyone was doing it at one point in time. I may get tired of battle royale, but I'm not quite there yet. So, for the time being, I'm just waving at these BR games as they pass by.
I think after two years battle royale is no longer a fad, but a mainstay in the industry. It's come to the point where I'd be surprised if a big company doesn't release some kind of battle royale game, either as an add-on mode or a standalone game. There are some companies that have yet to release a battle royale game, like Ubisoft or Nintendo, and I'm eagerly awaiting to see what either company does with the genre.
This ubiquity also lends to why I'm not tired of the genre yet. It's like asking me if I'm tired of team deathmatch or capture the flag multiplayer modes. Battle royale is just another mode in the large, online shooter suite of tricks. I expect even more battle royale modes to come, and as long as they do something new or interesting, I say bring it on.
I feel like we're in a comfortable spot with the battle royale genre. And honestly, it doesn't quite feel necessarily like the battle royale games coming out are in a battle royale of their own. Thus far, there's a lot of room for them. Blackout offers the polish and great gunfeel that Call of Duty fans can anticipate. PUBG still has a huge core playerbase, and multiple maps in its leg above the competition. Ring of Elysium is less about killing everyone, and more about cementing your own escape through cool tools like snowboarding. Fortnite is Fortnite. And now there's Apex Legends, a game that's more of a hero shooter than even Blackout (which plops Black Ops 4's hero-like Specialist abilities as gear to collect throughout its map).
The popular games in the battle royale sphere are all doing their own thing, and that's what's making each one successful. The bubble of battle royales will surely burst eventually, but I don't think now is that time.