It’s now PlayerUnknown’s Battleground vs. Fortnite vs. Battlefield V vs. Black Ops 4.
When it comes to Battle Royale games, Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground are the kings while every other title is a piss poor imitation. That might change as Call of Duty and Battlefield series have entered the ring with their upcoming titles.
The announcement has been meet with mixed results from both fans of their respected series along with the Fortnite and PUBG community. So far the genre has two real titles along with a plethora of shovelware and half-ass clones. Activsion and Electronic Arts plan to bring their most iconic series into the mix could either saturate the market or introduce some fresh ideas.
To be honest, Battlefield V has the better chance of bringing fresh ideas to the genre. The game has gone back to its World War II roots while the experience will include a single-player campaign and traditional multiplayer while Battle Royale will just be another feature of the game. However there is also a possibility that it won’t bring anything fresh or that the Battle Royale experience would be the least impressive feature of the game.
Thankfully; EA is not banking everything about Battlefield V on one gameplay experience. Sadly; that is the route that Activsion is going with regarding Call of Duty.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and what it could do for the Battle Royale genre is actually the most worrisome. Unlike past titles in the series, this one will not have a signal-player campaign but will instead have an all multiplayer experience with the Battle Royale (dubbed “Blackout”) being the center of the game. To its credit; this is the most radical change to the series in over over five years. The issue however is that Activsion has now chosen to become a trend chaser by going after what is popular now.
Not helping Black Ops 4 case is that (at the moment) there is nothing about it that will make it stand out from all the other Battle Royale games. PlayerUnknown’s Battleground is the more realistic based game, Fortnite has an upbeat fun experience and Battlefield V is going to be a World War II title. What will make Black Ops 4 special or why should gamers care?
This last part is also a question that every other game studio needs to answer before getting involved in the the Battle Royale market. The titans of the genre have something special about them that appeals to the fan base while every other title that has lacked a sense of uniqueness has failed miserably (Radical Heights being a prime example). Franchises that want to experiment with the genre is better off adding it to the overall gaming experience instead of making it the core component.
If AAA studios are not cautious they risk over saturating the Battle Royale market in the long run. If this happens; new titles that offer something unique will be dead on arrival while Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground will have trouble evolving or experimenting with new ideas.
Battle Royale are hot right now but AAA studios need to be cautious about bringing their own contribution or they risk ruining it for everyone.