The analytical company Newzoo has published an overview of the market of games in the genre of battle royale. The document tells the history of the segment, and also describes what is happening in this direction today. A brief retelling of the report is on our pages.
Not so fast, what are we talking about?
Who missed everything, we remind you, the battle royale is a subgenre of MMO shooters from the first or third person. The essence of the gameplay boils down to landing a large number of players on a vast island, where weapons and equipment are scattered. As in the movie “Highlander” — only one must survive.
Why such attention to the genre?
The main two projects in this genre have been setting records for gaming and business indicators in the industry over the past year. The number of copies sold and downloaded is in the tens of millions. Broadcasts on them collect millions of users. In terms of the number of users playing them at the same time, they overtake the market leader — League of Legends.
An additional proof of the importance of the genre is that this February, 30% of the entire hardcore PC gaming audience in the world was hacked into projects belonging to the Battle royale direction.
Where did the genre come from?
The popularity of the genre was brought by the game PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG), which was released in March last year. It was her success and abundance of imitations that allowed the niche direction to grow into a large-scale segment of the gaming market.
But the genre itself appeared earlier. According to Newzoo, back in 2012, in the wake of the success of the film “The Hunger Games”, a mod for Minecraft was released, repeating the concept of the tape.
Then there was the DayZ mod for the Arma 2 shooter, where you had to fight not only with live users, but also with a hostile environment. It became the launch event, after which more and more similar modifications began to appear.
One of them is the development of a young man named Brandon Green. His mod was called The Battle Royale in honor of the book of the same name by the Japanese writer Kosyun Takami. The latter was just telling how children are sent to a desert island and forced to fight with each other so that only one winner remains.
Green is a key figure for the genre. After the success of The Battle Royale, he was invited to Daybreak Game Company to develop a separate version of H1Z1 — H1Z1: King of the Kill, another popular battle royale. After completing his task, he moved to Bluehole Studios, where PUBG was created.
What’s with the genre now?
He enjoys crazy popularity among both players and spectators.
Most of the success comes from just two titles. Of the 30% of unique players in the Battle Royale genre, 53% in February fell on Fortnite Battle Royale, a mod for Fortnite from Epic Games, and 46% — on the already mentioned PUBG.
The most popular royal battles (by the number of unique players)
Projects of this genre also account for about 30% of all the hours that users on Twitch and Google Gaming spent watching all game broadcasts in February.
The most popular royal battles (by the total number of hours spent watching them on Twitch and YouTube Gaming)
Attention: as far as can be judged by the Newzoo charts, the Fortnite project eats away the PUBG audience both in terms of the gaming audience and the number of viewers.
What else interesting can you learn from the document?
Despite the similarity of the two leading projects, their popularity strongly depends on the region. PUBG, developed in South Korea, is more successful in Asia than Fortnite, to which players from the USA and Europe are more loyal.
Countries with the highest number of unique players in Fortnite (black percentages) and PUBG (green percentages)
This does not seem to be an exceptional situation, if not one key point.
PUBG, which enjoys crazy popularity in China (52% of the hardcore audience of the Celestial Empire play it), is distributed on a paid basis, where it is not accepted to pay for premium games (the market is mainly fritupley).
The PC genre has become relevant on mobile as well
This does not always happen, but, as in the case of MOBA, gaming companies were able to successfully transfer from the desktop, and then capitalize the genre on mobile. The pioneer was the Chinese NetEase. Her lead project Knives Out now boasts a MAU of 50 million. And this is not a random success. Her second most successful project in this genre, Rules of Survival, crossed the line of 25 million unique monthly users in January.
Now the authors of PUBG and Fortnite have brought their own solutions to the mobile market. They are also very popular. The total downloads of two mobile versions of PUBG for one February amounted to 10.2 million. As for Fortnite, in the first week since its release, it was downloaded 5.4 million times, and its earnings for the same period amounted to $ 2.8 million.
Newzoo is sure that the genre has not yet reached its peak. His popularity will continue to grow. This will be due not only to the transition to new platforms and the emergence of new products (including on the basis of existing multiplayer action hits), but also to the further formation of a new esports discipline based on the genre.