2018 in Battle Royale Games

There is no denying that 2018 was the year of the Battle Royale. It has dominated just about every conversation about gaming the entire year. For a good reason too, the genre is insanely popular. But, while it has been a great year there have also been more than a few Battle Royale titles shut down. So grab yourself a drink and sit back as we take a look at 2018 in Battle Royale games.

The year had a bit of a rough start as the news came out that H1Z1 had lost 90% of its player base since July 2017. Of course, a lot of the blame for that can be placed on the success of Fortnite and PUBG, so really as far as the genre goes it wasn’t a terrible thing. As the year progressed H1Z1 would go on to have the part of the game that wasn’t a Battle Royale shut down after the game moved to a new internal studio at Daybreak.

This was also the year that Ninja and Drake broke the record on Twitch for the most-viewed stream while playing Fortnite. At its peak, it was watched by 628,000 people around the world. As of this month, Ninja is the most followed Streamer on Twitch. He has more than 12 million followers and each time he streams he averages 53,000 viewers. For those wondering, Ninja started out the year making approximately $500,000 a month from streaming and later told ESPN that he’s now making nearly 7 figures a month. Oh to be Ninja just for a month.

2018 was also the year of lawsuits in the Battle Royale genre. PUBG sued NetEase for copyright infringement with their games Knives Out and Rules of Survival. In turn just a few days later NetEase threatened to sue everyone who wasn’t PUBG because…well, we’re still not really sure what they were thinking about there actually. Basically, their argument boiled down to “you took the idea that we took and made it a little different and hurt the market in doing so.” Which is exactly as stupid as it sounds. PUBG then went and sued Fortnite for plagiarizing its UI and items. Then, because 2018 wasn’t crazy enough already three stars are now suing Fortnite over the sale of emotes of their dances. Backpack Kid, Milly 2, and Alfonso Ribeiro are all going after Fortnite in a move that is seen by many to be nothing more than an attempt at getting some of that sweet Fortnite cash.

Speaking of Fortnite cash, in March Fortnite became the largest free to play console game of all time both in revenue generated and monthly active users. The game is currently sitting at the number 4 spot in terms of monthly revenue for both console and PC games. Towards the end of the year, it looked as though Fortnite had hit its peak in revenue as revenue growth slowed significantly. Of course, when you talk about revenue slowing down you have to take into consideration that Fortnite makes $2 million a day just on iOS. The last number we had was in October stating that Fortnite on iOS made $300 million worldwide just on iOS…in 200 days. Oh to be Epic just for a day.

How are they doing this? Well, according to a study done by Newzoo, Battle Royale players are more likely to spend money on games. In fact, they’re more invested all around than other competitive gamers. They’re more likely to watch esports, spend money, and spend more than 6 hours a week in game. Does that 6 hours a week number feel a bit low to anyone else?

While Fortnite is helping Tim Sweeney live everyone’s dream of swimming in money the Battle Royale genre has suffered a few losses this year. The first Battle Royale to die was Radical Heights, the 80s themed Battle Royale game that was supposed to save Boss Key Studios. Unfortunately what was released was incomplete and, according to those who played it, not all that great. The game closed not long after it was released as the studio collapsed. The result of which made founder CliffyB, of Gears of War fame, declare he would never make another game. He isn’t the first developer to have said this though, so we’ll wait and see if he follows through.

Radical Heights

SOS, upon seeing the massive success of the Battle Royale genre decided to switch gears and transition into a Battle Royale game. It was a complete disaster as none of the fans actually wanted that. So the game was review bombed and it didn’t take long for the game to shut down. They did try to fix things by bringing back the classic game, but for many fans, it was already too late. The Culling 2 was canceled after a less than stellar reception. It was a game that no one really wanted, and even the developers admitted this. Islands of Nyne also recently announced that they can no longer continue to develop the game and it is now in maintenance mode on Steam. The game is free to play and will continue to be available for the time being. With the market being largely dominated by a couple of big games it is an undeniable fact that we will see more Battle Royale games close in 2019, we just have to wait and see which ones it will be.

Much to our surprise, only a few MMOs have jumped on the Battle Royale bandwagon. For a while, those of us at MMOGames feared that every MMO would come out with a Battle Royale mode. Thankfully, at this point only a few have. Skyforge, Mortal Online, Wild West Online, and Ashes of Creation are the most notable. Though you also have it in games like Trove.

Mortal Royale

It was quite a year for the Battle Royale genre and this was barely a look at the surface. There were a vast amount of games we didn’t mention like Rapture Rejects and we didn’t even discuss how many divorces there were because of Fortnite. But now it is time to start looking ahead to 2019. We already know that Planetside Arena is on its way, what else will 2019 bring us? Next week we’ll look at a few predictions.

If you want another look back at 2018 in Battle Royale games take a look at this list of our Battle Royale roundups. They haven’t been running all year, but they will give you a bit of an idea on how the year has gone.

What Gaming Looks Like One Year After Fortnite
August Battle Royale Weekly 1 – SOS Classic Tries to Save the Game
The Battle Royale Games of Gamescom 2018
August Battle Royale Weekly 2 – Gamescom and New Games
August Battle Royale Weekly 3 – Epic Android Security Issues for Fortnite
September Battle Royale Weekly 1 – Firestorm Info Dump
September Battle Royale Weekly 2 – Adult Arrested After Threatening Kid Over Fortnite
October Battle Royale Weekly 1 – Fortnite makes $300 Million in 200 Days
October Battle Royale Weekly 2 – PUG Makes $100 Million and Goodbye SOS
November Battle Royale Weekly 1 – PUBG on PS4
November Battle Royale Weekly 2 – 200 Million Fortnite Players and Totally Accurate Battlegrounds goes F2P
December Battle Royale Weekly – Goodbye Islands of Nyne

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H1Z1’s Esports League Dries Up

The H1Z1 Pro League, an esports league that hoped to use the battle royale shooter as a vehicle to esports stardom, has breathed its last. A letter sent to teams announced that the league would end its premiere season and would not press on for a second season.

h1z1 pro league

Twin Galaxies co-chairman Jace Hall’s letter confirmed that the Pro League’s second split would be indefinitely suspended and the second season of competition would not be renewed, effectively releasing all teams from their obligations to the league immediately.

The league’s shutdown doesn’t appear to be going extremely well, as teams are yet to receive a contractually obligated payment for the second split. This delay in payment has reportedly caused some of the involved teams to stop paying their players or, in the case of larger orgs like Cloud9 and Team SoloMid, to pay their players at a net loss.

On the subject of late payments, Hall’s letter did state intention to pay up. “As discussed previously with teams, the League is still working to pay teams and resolve that matter,” read the letter. “The matter of the remaining League stipend payment is independent of this notification.”

Our Thoughts

Considering the thoughts of one writer who was flown out to the inaugural H1Z1 Pro League event, this probably isn’t a surprising outcome. Esports is certainly big business, but that only matters if the game is compelling to watch and the broadcast is tightly put together — two things that the H1Z1 Pro League clearly were not.

Source: ESPN via MMORPG.com

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H1Z1: Just Survive Gets a Stay of Execution

So H1Z1: Just Survive – you know, the part of the game that isn’t battle royale – looked to be sunk as of this month. However, the previously announced Daybreak Games investor appears to also be willing to bankroll the survival sandbox along with Z1 Battle Royale, meaning the Just Survive shutdown isn’t happening.

just survive shutdown

The news comes from Daybreak’s Jace Hall, who announced during a developer livestream this past Friday that the joint venture between the company and NantG Mobile LLC will also mean that the Just Survive portion of H1Z1 will remain live in some capacity.

“Just Survive will continue and our intention is to put it into a maintenance mode for a moment,” said Hall. “Then we want to work with the community over time and figure out the right way to re-integrate Just Survive as a mode inside of Z1. There’ll be a survival mode, you’ll see Just Survive.”

There’s no hard timeline for when this maintenance mode will begin for Just Survive or when it’ll be folded into Z1BR, but we expect that the next couple of weeks will provide more firm details on that front.

Our Thoughts

Well, this is some surprisingly good news for fans of Just Survive. Assuming, of course, there are enough of them to make adding the mode to Battle Royale sustainable. If nothing else, having it as a secondary mode for the (apparently) now primary game will give folks options. One could say that this game will survive, only just.

Source: MMO Fallout

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New Daybreak Games Investor to Fund Mobile EverQuest and H1Z1

Apparently, EverQuest and H1Z1 are ready for the mobile spotlight if this Daybreak Games investment news is any indication. A new joint venture between the game publisher/developer and a “diversified holding company” has been announced, which means mobile editions of the above titles are en route.

daybreak games investment

The new partner in question is NantWorks, which will see the formation of NantG Mobile LLC, a new mobile games developer and publisher that NantWorks will have a controlling interest in. This new studio will be handling the creation of mobile editions of the classic EverQuest and the battle royale shooter H1Z1, which will be rebranded as Z1 Battle Royale. The joint venture will also pick up management duties of H1Z1 Battle Royale on PC.

In addition to these new ventures, NantWorks is also putting together an esports venue in El Segundo, California. The LA Times Center is described as “a convening hub for the community and a venue where NantG Mobile will establish esports leagues for multiple game titles”, the first of which will be Z1 Battle Royale.

There’s no word on when this venue will break ground or ultimately open as of right now. Similarly, there’s no timeline on when Z1 Battle Royale or EverQuest’s mobile version will arrive.

Our Thoughts

So one could see this a couple of different ways. Either Daybreak Games is chasing the new hotness and other publishers, or they’re looking to sell off their assets to fleece these game IPs bare. Then again, maybe they’ll actually put together compelling mobile titles, who knows?

Source: press release

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Battle Royale Weekly: Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout Leak and Epic is Unhappy

This week we have a pretty big variety in the news around Battle Royale games. A new Battle Royale game has been announced, Fortnite is having security and player problems, and on top of that, we have a Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout leak, and so much more.

 

Battlefield V

Battle Royale news

If you’re more interested in the Combined Arms co-op and the Battle Royale modes for Battlefield V, you may want to wait to get Battlefield V. Both of these modes have been pushed back and won’t be available at launch. Vehicle customization also won’t be there at launch. This seems like an example of the publisher setting a launch date the developers are finding difficult to meet.

Source: WCCTech

 

Battlerite Royale

The announcement of Battlerite Royale as its own game came with a lot of mixed feelings from Battlerite players. Stunlock has acknowledged that there are things they could have done better in the announcement. The studio has promised that an FAQ would be posted in September but they also answered some questions that the community had been discussing.

Anyone who bought Battlerite in Early Access or has purchased the All Champions Pack or the Ultimate Fan Pack will get a coupon for 50% off the game as well as a limited edition Legendary Ember Tiger mount. Battlerite players who don’t fit into the above category but do have an account level 20 or higher when Battlerite Royale launches will receive the limited Epic Ricky the Rocket mount if they purchase Battlerite Royale. Players who meet both requirements will get both mounts and any cosmetics that are unlocked in Battlerite Arena will be shared in Battlerite Royale.

Battlerite Royale will cost $20 and is expected to start Early Access by the end of September.

Source: Official Site

 

Call of Duty Black Ops 4

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout leak

A new leak may have revealed a whole lot of new information about Blackout, the Battle Royale mode of the game. This leak comes from The Wew Lads who correctly leaked previous content about another Call of Duty title, so there may be some credibility to this leak.

Blackout mode will, according to the leak, have doors that can be opened and closed. It will also have zombies in a selected area. The mode may feature up to 100 players. The leak also talks about a new mode called Outboarding which is a training/tutorial mode. Oh and if this is important, you do in fact parachute into the map. Raising the question, is it a Battle Royale game if you don’t parachute in?

Source: WCCTech

 

Dying Light: Bad Blood

At Gamescom, Techland announced that Dying Light: Bad Blood would be entering Early Access in September, though no exact date was given. It has been confirmed that while consoles won’t be part of the Early Access, the game will release on Playstation 4 and Xbox One when it launches. The game will be free to play unless you want to take part in Early Access. The Early Access will be part of the $19.99 Founders Pack. This pack will include:

  • Exclusive Golden Founder’s Mask
  • Three exclusive Legendary weapon skins
  • Golden Neckslicer dagger
  • Golden Bonecleaver machete
  • Golden Skullopener cricket bat
  • 1000 Blood Bucks
  • Three exclusive Legendary skins distributed over three months post-launch

Thanks to their presence at Gamescom we now have quite a lot of gameplay footage on Youtube to dig through. So if you want to know what its like before you throw cash at it, this is your chance….or you could just wait until it launches.

Source: Techadvisor.co.uk

 

Egress

Egress has introduced a new mode called Piñata that is exactly what it says in the name. You’ll be on one of two sides and your job is to destroy the other team’s piñata while protecting your own. Check out the short video introducing the new mode below.

Source: Press Release

 

Fear the Wolves

Fear The Wolves

The Early Access for Fear the Wolves is underway on Steam with mixed reviews. 55% of the 63 reviews for the game are positive. According to SteamCharts, their concurrent peak so far has been 388 players, not bad for a game that has been in Early Access for less than three days that isn’t free to play. We also have a content roadmap for September which will include things like 2 seater vehicles and weapon customization. In October players can expect more movement options, new melee mechanics, and an in-game event system.

Source: SteamCharts, Steam Announcement

 

Fortnite

Fortnite on Android is experiencing some security issues that are prompting many prominent tech sites to recommend staying away from the game for now. A Google employee discovered a vulnerability that allowed hackers to replace the app with a fake version of the game. Google immediately notified Epic, who quickly got to work on fixing the issue. They also asked Google not to disclose the vulnerability to the public for 90 days, to give players time to install the new patch. Google instead waited the industry standard 7 days before they went public. Epic then lashed out at Google for doing so, which raised a lot of red flags for those in the cyber security sphere.

Google isn’t the only group that Epic is upset with right now, they’re also looking at fans who are unlocking the exclusive Galaxy skin with demo phones in stores. For those who don’t know what that is, when Fortnite was announced for Android they also announced an exclusive partnership with Samsung that would give owners of the brand new Samsung Note 9 or Tab S4 an incredibly rare skin, the rarest skin of them all in fact. Samsung themselves aren’t very happy about this either and many stores are putting up signs telling shoppers not to install Fortnite. Which, of course, they aren’t. They hoped this would attract people to buy their very pricey new devices.

Source: CNET, Polygon

 

H1Z1

The original survival mode for H1Z1 which was named Just Survive…hasn’t survived. Daybreak has announced that the game will shut down in October despite having never even launched. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though as the Battle Royale game took off in a way that Just Survive never did.

Source: Press Release

 

Mortal Royale

Another week, another new Battle Royale game. Star Vault, the creators of Mortal Online have announced Mortal Royale, a Battle Royale game with 1,000 players. Along with finding weapons and armor, you’ll be on the lookout for mounts who give you incredible advantages on the field. You can sign up to take part in the alpha right now on the official site. Check out the trailer for the game below, though if you don’t like blood you might want to skip this one.

Source: Official Site

 

Proxima Royale

Expect to see a new trailer for Proxima Royale in the coming weeks that shows off all the new content they’ve been working on. They also revealed that Closed Beta is on its way, currently slated for Q3 2018. The game is not currently playable, but they are making updates on Steam where they release new information.

Source: Steam

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Battle Royale Weekly: News from Gaming’s Current Trend

Right now Battle Royale games are at the top of the gaming industry. They’re the latest trend being embraced by studios and as a result, we’re seeing more and more of them being announced every day. It can be difficult to follow them all though. Currently, we’re keeping track of more than 30 Battle Royale titles and expecting that list to grow all the time. To help you keep up with the genre we’re launching Battle Royale Weekly, a weekly look at Battle Royale games and the genre as a whole. So if you’re looking for the latest Battle Royale news you’re in the right place.

 

Battlefield V

Battlefield V is having another round of alpha testing beginning today. This one, just like the last will be for PC only. The playtest is based on the previous one, which means there won’t be anything new but they are looking to test player progression. They also made improvements to matchmaking and fixed issues with joining squads. You’ll be able to test a 64-player Conquest map along with Grand Operations day 1 and 2. The alpha will be available in many European countries and North America, but it is invite-only. Invitation codes are being sent out to a small group of Battlefield players. If you were lucky enough to take part in the last alpha test you’re automatically invited to this one as well. The test will be running for a limited time, though no end date has been announced yet.

Source: EA

 

Battlerite Royale

Just a few days ago Battlerite Royale became a standalone game and it will be going into Early Access next month. It was originally intended to launch this summer but thanks to the massive interest in the game and the constraints by some of the game’s systems, the developers have decided to go big. A roadmap for the development of the game has also recently gone live with details for the rest of 2018’s content updates, so be sure to go give that a look.

Source: Official Site

 

Crazy Justice

Crazy Justice is a Battle Royale title that doesn’t get a lot of mention at the moment, mostly because it isn’t actually playable yet. The game has a 100-player PvP mode in which you get to play one of dozens of heroes. What makes it stand out is that there are two modes of Battle Royale. In the normal Battle Royale, you’re playing without any abilities, or you can play Skill Royale mode which will give you access to your hero’s game-changing special skill. The game is planning on having cross-play between PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The map is 6km2 with hidden areas, underwater areas, and hidden loot. According to their official site, they’re planning on entering Early Access sometime in August.

Source: Official Site

 

Cuisine Royale

What started out as an April Fools Day joke is indeed a full-fledged game. If you aren’t familiar with Cuisine Royale just know that your armor consists of colanders, woks, and waffle irons. The game is currently in Early Access on Steam. It is a game that is in active development getting new updates every few days. The most recent one landed today which introduced leaderboards. They’re separated by which of the three modes you’re playing in. To be shown on the boards, you need to take part in at least 20 battles with at least one victory in Duo/Squad. You can sort them by win or kill rating.

Source: Patch Notes

 

The Darwin Project

Today, The Darwin Project is holding a technical playtest for a couple of hours. In particular, they’re looking for feedback on the new Tile and new Tool, but you’ll be able to share your thoughts on all aspects of the game in a post playtest survey. The test will be running from 4 PM to 8 PM Eastern time. You can take part by completing the following steps on Steam:

  1. Go to your Steam library
    2. Right-click on Darwin Project and select Properties
    3. Go to the Beta tab and enter the playtest code: playtest73423482
    4. Click Check Code, then select Playtest from the drop-down menu
    5. Restart Steam and launch Darwin Project

Streamers will be able to stream the playtest, so even if you can’t take part you can still take a look and see how the game is doing right now.

Source: Official Site

 

Dying Light: Bad Blood

Dying Light: Bad Blood is another title that hasn’t been playable yet but by all accounts will be playable very soon. On the official site, you can sign up for global testing which is said to be coming soon. These global tests will run for a few days at a time on Steam. In this game, you’re fighting for a seat out of a zombie-infested area. You’ll have to fight off zombies as well as fellow players. To earn your seat out, you not only have to be the last one standing you also have to harvest blood from the infected.

Source: Official Site

 

Egress

Closed Beta testing for Egress started on August 1st, however a number of problems were uncovered during testing and as a result, they aren’t currently accepting more testers. On their official site, they say that the game needs a lot of improvement before they can invite even more players. The good news is that they’re already hard at work on improving the game. So hopefully it won’t be too long until more people can jump in.

 

Fear the Wolves

Fear The Wolves

Last month Fear the Wolves announced that they would be pushing back their Early Access by a few weeks. Since then there hasn’t been any word on when Early Access would begin or anything else really. On social media, they’re inviting more people to take part in beta testing which suggests that it may still be some time before we see the game start Early Access.

Source: Official Site

 

Fortnite

Fortnite is obviously one of the most talked about games at the moment as it is taking the world by storm. Because of this, we won’t be focusing on Fortnite unless the news is really big. Right now everyone is talking about streamer Ninja who recently said he won’t work with female gamers. This got a lot of backlash from gamers across the spectrum.

Source: Everyone is talking about it.

 

Fractured Lands

Fractured Lands has now been in Early Access for 3 weeks. On Steam it has mixed reviews, with a lot of people saying that it has potential. At the moment it seems as though they’re patching the game once a week, adding to it and improving what is already in place.

Source: Steam

 

H1Z1

Most recently H1Z1 launched on the Playstation 4 after having spent a few months in open beta. Since it launched there has already been a hotfix to take care of client performance, crashes, and other issues. There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the game though.

Source: Official Site

 

Knives Out

Knives Out isn’t currently supported in English but it is a massive hit for NetEase. In June, the game was number one on the iOS charts in Japan. This was part of a fantastic second quarter for the publishers who are shifting away from MMORPGs and embracing a wider variety of games, admittedly mostly mobile games. There aren’t any signs of Knives Out being released for Western audiences but we will continue to watch the game anyway in the hopes that something might change.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

 

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

Mavericks has announced that they’re ditching the idea of Early Access, Closed Beta, Alpha, and all of that and instead just doing testing. There will be weekly updates to the game and you will be able to play at any time. Since E3, thousands of people have signed up to test the game. While we now don’t know when testing will begin, we at least know that once it does it will be staying on.

Source: Official Site

 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Just like Fortnite, we aren’t going to be covering PUBG in too much detail. The game already gets talked about quite a bit in the industry. With that being said though, there is some interesting testing going on in the game. If you play on Xbox One you can test out some highly sought after additions to the game. They are dynamic weather and limb penetration. The patch notes for this are massive and well worth a read if you plan on taking part.

Source: Official Site

 

Rapture Rejects

What was possibly the most amusing game to come out of E3, Rapture Rejects hasn’t really been heard from much since then. But thanks to a recent interview with Tinybuild’s CEO Alex Nichiporchik we now have a few more details. This summer they’re planning on having a closed alpha and based on the results of that closed alpha they’ll decide where to go next. Exactly when it is going to start wasn’t stated, but summer is quickly coming to an end. If you’re lucky enough to be attending PAX West you’ll be able to be one of the first members of the public to try out the game. It will be playable at the Tinybuild booth.

Source: Geekwire Interview

 

SOS

SOS

For a while, SOS was enjoying some moderate success for an indie game on Steam. But some changes were made to the game that suddenly made it massively unpopular. So, in an effort to bring players back they’ve released SOS: Classic. This classic version of the game won’t be developed and no new content will be added. So the game will exist exactly as it did before the game mode was changed. It’s also going to be free to play.

Source: Steam

 

The CullingThe Culling

Development on The Culling has started again now that the studio is refocusing their efforts on the game. Part of that refocus means a day one server that takes players all the way back to the beginning of The Culling in March of 2016. During the process of focusing on The Culling again, they’re going to be putting out surveys to their players to find out how they would like to see certain things go. The current survey is about Health Stations.

Source: Steam

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H1Z1 Launches on PS4 August 7

So far, H1Z1 has been in an open beta state on the PS4 with over 10 million players strong, but it looks like that’s due to change in short order. August 7th will be the full H1Z1 PS4 release date, which not only means the game’s soft launch is now not-so-soft(?) but also brings with it a few new features.

h1z1 ps4 release date

H1Z1 will launch with two new weapons in the form of the RPG launcher and the SOCOM sniper rifle, along with a new armored vehicle that can fit a full squad of five. There are also a few balance changes arriving with the launch version and tier changes to a number of weapons.

Launch will also bring with it the game’s first Battle Pass, which has 30 tiers of rewards in total and three different reward lines – Free, which is free duh; Premium, which will set you back the very specific amount of $5.49; and PlayStation Plus, which is an automatic unlock for those with a PSPlus membership.

On the subject of unlocked items and Battle Passes, an FAQ has explained that those who unlocked items in open beta will carry those items over come launch, and your open beta account level will be replaced with a Battle Pass season level.

A further rundown of what’s arriving at launch is elaborated upon in a blog from producer Terrence Yee can be found here.

Our Thoughts

That is definitely a lot of soft launch players, so we suspect that this game’s full launch will at least be equally active, if not perhaps a bit more so. Here’s hoping that full launch goes as smoothly as it can and that everyone battling royally has a good time.

Sources: press release, PlayStation Blog

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H1Z1 Stealth-Shifts its PS4 Closed Beta Test Date

Despite a press release that stated intention for a H1Z1 PS4 closed beta test during the month of April, this past weekend came and went without any codes or other word from the game about when eager PS4 battlers royale will get to fight it out for the last person standing.

h1z1 ps4 closed beta

When contacted by fans during this past weekend on whether “this month” did indeed refer to the month of April, the game’s official Twitter account replied with word that the devs “haven’t announced an official date for closed beta quite yet.” None of our information available to us has brought new word beyond that.

In what might be seen as a worrying development, the H1Z1 Twitter account has been silent for the past 21-odd hours at the time of this story’s writing. Users of the H1Z!: Just Survive subreddit are also already bracing themselves or otherwise saying their goodbyes.

The concern springs from the wave of layoffs that swept over Daybreak Games this past week which saw 70 employees affected. Our colleagues at Massively Overpowered have compiled a number of recent statements from Daybreak’s MMO portfolio including DCUO, EverQuest and EQ2, and PlanetSide 2 regarding the past week’s events, which essentially sum up to updates and developments continuing as normal.

Our Thoughts

Things do not look very sunny for H1Z1. Of course, there are no firm statements one way or the other, but perceived radio silence is often much worse than a simple remark about the game’s PS4 future or future in general. At this point, many fans would perhaps even be happy with a “no comment” statement.

Sources: H1Z1 Twitter, Massively Overpowered

Articles Related to H1Z1

Multiple Layoffs at Daybreak Games Confirmed
H1Z1 Launches with New Upgrades and Vehicular Battle Royale
$2B Worth of Assets from Russian Company Columbus Nova Frozen, Daybreak Claiming No Affiliation

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MMO Money: Fortnite Forever

A large portion of every MMO Money article we’ve done for months now has been dedicated to lockboxes, but it seems like things might be calming down on that front as politicians and players move on to focus on other things. In reality, they’ve all just been distracted playing Fortnite, which has continued to be a massive success for Epic.

 

More Battle Royale in the Future

Fortnite Success

Analysts are predicting that there will be more Battle Royale games in the future following the massive PUBG and Fortnite success. An article on investors.com was released that said some investors are worried that Fortnite is drawing attention away from games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Grand Theft Auto. Wall Street analysts predict that Fortnite will have a modest impact on the major game publishers in the short term, but long-term they’re predicting that EA, Activision, and Take-Two are all likely to introduce Battle Royale games of their own or release it as part of a game already in the works. Analyst Michael Olson from Piper Jaffray, an investment banker and management firm, believes that we will see Battle Royale modes for games like Call of Duty and Battlefield in the second half of 2018 or early 2019. If that’s the case, it will mean that these are likely to be revealed at E3. MMOGames will be keeping a close eye on these publishers to see if the prediction comes to pass.

 

Sea of Thieves UK Hit

Despite the launch issues and the complaints that there isn’t much content in the game, Sea of Thieves is top of the UK charts for the week ending March 24th. The previous week, Burnout Paradise Remastered topped the list but after several high profile releases, it has dropped down to 6th. On Metacritic, Sea of Thieves currently has a 70% based on critic’s reviews and a 5.3 based on user reviews. Will Sea of Thieves be able to hold on to that top spot after such a rough start? Only time will tell, but it is going up against Far Cry 5 which released this week so chances are pretty slim.

 

Vivendi Sells Ubisoft Stock

You may recall that Vivendi has been trying to do a hostile takeover of Ubisoft for some time now. They own a 27% stake in the company, or at least they did until recently. It would appear that the idea of a hostile takeover is behind us now as Vivendi has sold its stock in Ubisoft. Part of the sales agreement adds that Vivendi cannot buy more Ubisoft stock for the next five years. At the same time this was revealed, Ubisoft announced they were teaming up with Tencent to move into the Chinese market. Tencent will operate several of Ubisoft’s most successful PC and Mobile games.

 

Fortnite Tops iOS Charts

It seems like just yesterday every other story was about PUBG, now every other story is about Fortnite. Not that we’re complaining, it’s a great game. Fortnite has also made the leap to mobile where it instantly topped the charts in just about every market it was released in. In just 4 days after release, the game made $1.5 million, just on iOS.

 

Epic Releases $12 Million in Paragon Assets for Free

paragon v.40

Do you remember that other game Epic was working on that wasn’t Fortnite? Paragon, the MOBA they canceled. Well, Epic is being epic and releasing 12 million dollars worth of assets from Paragon for free to be used in Unreal Engine 4 development. $12 million and that isn’t even all of their assets that they’ll be releasing from the game. It wasn’t all amazing news though. There was a rumor that Tencent may buy the game from Epic. The release of these assets pretty much killed that rumor, leaving people who had their fingers crossed disappointed.

 

Pantropy Kickstarter Canceled

Pantropy

We’re moving away from Epic and Fortnite to talk about Pantropy now. The sci-fi MMO shooter was holding a Kickstarter campaign, but it was struggling to reach its goal. In fact, it was only just a little over halfway to the €75,000 goal when the devs pulled the plug. It isn’t all bad though, the devs have promised that they’re going to make changes and come back again sometime at the end of March. They have also received multiple publishing and investment offers, but they reassure fans that they are going to remain independent. The game is still expected to be released in Steam Early Access later this year. It will be interesting to see if this move of relaunching their Kickstarter campaign works. Many times the relaunch of the Kickstarter doesn’t get as much press as the original and also doesn’t make as much money.

 

H1Z1 Charts

We’ve been talking about H1Z1 for a few weeks now. It started out with the shocking report that the game had lost 90% of its playerbase. Shortly after that, the game launched, giving it a very small boost in player numbers. Then Daybreak made the game free to play and it received a substantial boost in players. Since that happened in early March, H1Z1 has seen a very slow decline in player numbers on Steam. It’s a bit early to say for sure, but it looks like March 2018 has been the best month they’ve had this year thanks to the change in their business model.

 

Star Wars Battlefront II Won’t Have Lockboxes

Star Wars Battlefront II

It was only a matter of time before we had to talk about lockboxes. There isn’t anything new on the political front at the moment. Instead, we get to talk about the most controversial game of the entire lockbox saga; Star Wars Battlefront II. EA announced that they are overhauling the entire progression system. Lockboxes won’t be coming back and everything you’ve unlocked already is yours to keep.

Just a week after this was announced it came out that EA may also be starting work on a new Star Wars game, this one will be open world. This came from job listings that mention creating a Star Wars open world game. So, if you had hopes that Disney might pull the plug on the agreement with EA, it seems that this isn’t happening, for now at least.

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H1Z1 Launches with New Upgrades and Vehicular Battle Royale

The OG battle royale game is about to make its way out of the early access tent and into fully launched game after what seems like an age. Today is the official H1Z1 launch, bringing with it some new system revamps, new features, and a vehicle-centric battle royale mode.

h1z1 launch

The new Auto Royale mode is pretty much what it sounds like – an arcade-style battle royale mode where players drive vehicles around a large map looking to blow each other apart and survive as long as possible.

The mode supports up to 30 teams of four players and features power-ups like weapons, fuel and health littered across the map, while hazards like turbo boosts, jumps, oil slicks and corrosive smoke will make things just a bit trickier. With the new Auto Royale mode comes new vehicles and weapons, including the small and nimble sedan, the heavily armored ARV, and the light machine gun weapon that’s exclusive to Auto Royale.

While Auto Royale is the party piece of the launch update for H1Z1, a number of other enhancements and features have been added as well. Players can also look forward to a new deployment feature that shows a heat map where players are landing before dropping in, a revamp to airdrops, and a minimap. Launch also kicks off the first official season of H1Z1 with a new scoring algorithm that rewards aggression and consistency instead of just a player’s 10 best placements.

H1Z1 is open for business at $19.99 via Steam. A new launch trailer all about Auto Royale can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

With the battle royale iron still hot thanks to PUBG, it’s nice to see that the actual original battle royale title is making its way to final release and with an interesting new mode to boot. That said, it still might be a case of too little, too late, as players now associate battle roayle with only two titles at maximum. Time will tell whether the battle royale bubble’s walls are thick enough to support a third game.

Source: press release

Articles Related to H1Z1

H1Z1 Playerbase Declines Over 90% Since June Peak
H1Z1 Will Become Two Different Games
H1Z1: King of the Kill Game Page

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