PUBG Mobile was the Second Most Downloaded Mobile Game in Q3

PUBG Mobile was the second most downloaded mobile game in the world in Q3 2019, beaten only by Fun Race 3D. It beat out games like Mario Kart Tour, Garena Free Fire, Mr Bullet, and Sand Balls, just to name a few. The majority of those downloads came from the Google Play store. On the App Store, Mario Kart Tour was actually the most downloaded game of the quarter and PUBG Mobile ranked only 7th.

PUBG Mobile saw more than a 100% growth quarter on quarter with nearly 80 million downloads. While Battle Royale Garena Free Fire managed to spend a 4th quarter in a row in the top 3 in the Google Play Store.

Of course, it should be noted that it is impossible to know how well Fortnite is performing on mobile because they aren’t in the Google Play store and this chart gets its data from the mobile app stores. It is interesting though to see so many games on these lists that well quite frankly, I’ve never even heard of. A lot of them are super casual games and aren’t the type of thing that people read or write about very often.

The data was collected and presented by SensorTower who are constantly releasing new reports on the performances of mobile apps, including games. If this is the sort of information that interests you then you should check out the MMOGames weekly business report every Friday. It dives into all the data and financial news that has been released in the online gaming industry every week.

 

 

Source: Sensor Tower

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PUBG Lite is Coming to Europe in October

PUBG Lite is coming to Europe in October. It’s basically the same game as PUBG but it’ll run on your toaster. It is a standalone version of the PUBG everyone knows and loves but it doesn’t look as nice and its updates are on a delay from the main game. The game will run on just about any laptop and any older PC, opening up the game to people who are perhaps stuck with their dad’s hand me down computer or college students who can’t afford the latest laptop. For an idea of what I mean here are the minimum requirements for PUBG Lite.

Windows 7, 8, or 10, 64 Bit
Core I3 2.4GHZ Dual Core
4GB RAM
Intel HD 4000 or equivalent
4GB HDD

PUBG Lite is already available in much of South Asia, South America, the Middle East, and North Africa and has been since January. At the moment the company hasn’t announced any plans to release the game in North America, but it does seem like it’s really only a matter of time before they do so. And they have said that they are planning to expand to many other countries.

Technically at the moment PUBG Lite is in open beta so don’t go in expecting a completely polished game. But, if you’ve not been able to play PUBG before now and you live in one of the 115 countries that are going to be able to play in the beta October 10th is the big day.

 

Source: Official Site, Rock Paper Shotgun

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PUBG Has Been Banned in Jordan, Fortnite Expected to Follow

PUBG has been banned in Jordan, just one of many such bans we’ve seen against popular Battle Royale titles this year. It is also expected that Fortnite won’t be far behind. The reason for the ban, like the others we’ve seen this year are vague concerns about the negative impact of these games. According to Jordan’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, a recent study found that the game was harmful to people of all ages. The commission’s Director of Beneficiaries Affairs said that it was established to deal with complaints from citizens about the terrifying spread of menacing videogames.

It will be interesting to see if these bans stick. So far the others that have happened across Asia haven’t, but, for a short time they bring some attention to the area and spark debate about if these games are actually dangerous or not.

This of course also comes after the World Health Organization declared that video game addiction is a real health concern. A move that, as it turns out, was done in haste and possibly had some political pressure from several different countries in Asia. As the dust settles there seems to be less support for Gaming Disorder and it is possible we will see the WHO reverse their decision in favor of more research in the future.

Battle Royale games specifically seem to be getting targeted in a way that no other genre of game ever has before. This is almost certainly because of their massive popularity with pre-teens and teens. Popularity that has spread across the world and from the point of view of parents at least, is all consuming and destroying lives.

 

Source: PCGamer

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Godzilla is Invading PUBG

A new limited time crossover event means that Godzilla, the King of the Monsters will be in PUBG. Yes, Godzilla is invading PUBG as part of a free update coming out later this month. This crossover is, of course, thanks to the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters which releases in theaters around the world next week. The trailer announcing the collaboration doesn’t actually say anything about what we’ll see in the game. Instead, it cuts back and forth between PUBG and footage of the movie from the trailers.

Most crossover events in the past have included a limited time mode and exclusive event skins. Some signs of Godzilla’s arrival have already been spotted in the game even. Godzilla graffiti has been spotted on the Miramar map. Plus there have been reports of Godzilla themed shirts too.

It seems most likely that the full details of this event and the event itself on the 29th of May when the movie begins releasing in a number of countries. The USA will have to wait until May 31st to see the movie. But, let’s have a moment of silence for Spain who for some reason have to wait until June 21st to get the movie!

This isn’t the only Godzilla gaming related news there is today either. Nexon’s Godzilla Defense Force mobile game launched today. It looks like the world has Godzilla fever right now, and why wouldn’t they? He is the King of the Monsters and the new movie looks just so amazing.

You know, now that I’ve been thinking about how Godzilla will fit into PUBG I find myself wondering why no one has made a kaiju based Battle Royale game. Come on game developers! Work with Toho to make this happen!

Source: GamesRadar, SportsKeeda

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Nepal Bans PUBG on Mental Health Grounds

Nepal bans PUB after the government says that the game is having a negative impact on the mental health of youth. Nepal has put the ban in place after citing the often used belief that video games are addictive and cause aggression in teens. This, despite repeated research being done that proves this isn’t the case at all.
The ban was pushed through the courts in a single day. Nepal’s Metropolitan Crime Division reportedly consulted psychiatrists who believe video games cause aggression and also pointed out that other countries have banned the game as well. This isn’t entirely true, however. China hasn’t outright banned the game, they simply haven’t approved it yet and there are several PUBG Mobile games for China. There were bans in several cities in India, but at least one of them has already lifted that ban and the ban wasn’t countrywide.
However, police in India have arrested college students for playing PUBG in cities where the game is banned, and we could see that happen in Nepal too.

Talking to the Kathmandu Post Dhiraj Pratap Singh, the chief of the Metropolitan Crime Division said, “We have decided to ban the game before anything unfortunate occurs in Nepal.” So far there has been no statement from PUBG Corp on the ban.
It should also be noted that Nepal banned porn in October in an effort to curb sexual violence. This was also a move that was considered ridiculous and ineffective. It looks like Nepal is using the same misguided logic to go after games, though why they’re specifically targeting PUBG we may never know.
So, if you have any trips to Nepal planned it might be a good idea to remove PUBG from your phone before you get there. It looks like they’re going to take this ban pretty seriously.

 

Source: Kathmandu Times via The Verge

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10 Absolutely Shocking or Surprising MMO Events

The video game industry isn’t all about making games; that would be so downright boring. That is why now and then we get a shocking scandal, surprise announcement or surreal occurrence. Here are 10 controversial or surprising happenings that spread like wildfire and in some way changed the industry.

Save the Whales – Lockbox Legislation Around the World

Video Game Industry Scandals Star Wars Battlefront 2 lockboxes

Do you like gambling? Great! So why aren’t you inside a casino? Oh, that’s right, most games nowadays come with some sort of gambling feature called lockboxes. The premise is simple and ingenious: you are promised amazing in-game rewards that will be all the rage. So, what should you do? Purchase more and more of these boxes to increase the odds of getting that rare piece of gear or costume. Go on, put that credit card to use, games don’t make themselves, you know?

That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t notice. Always be responsible with your spending.

The shady thing with lockboxes is that the odds of really getting something worthwhile are incredibly slim and shrouded in secrecy, not to mention that they have this tempting allure that many players aren’t able to resist. It does sound a lot like gambling, right? That is how you end up spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on randomized pieces of loot.

Oddly enough, it was China that first started looking into this matter and demanded that developers publicly revealed the odds of earning an in-game item. Crossfire was one of the first games to come to light and the ludicrous 3% proves that lockboxes are a wonderful deal… for publishers.

Other regions such as Belgium and The Netherlands started investigating lockboxes, with some games such as Overwatch stopping the sale of lockboxes in affected regions. Electronic Arts was involved in this controversy as well, with games such as Star Wars Battlefront 2 and FIFA 18 being mentioned as examples. Of course, other countries aren’t entirely sure about this subject. France and Ireland, for example, aren’t the biggest fans of lockboxes but see this practice as a legally grey area.

Lockboxes are a touchy subject and will surely continue to be discussed during the following years. My advice to you is: if you really like a game and want to support the development team by spending some money, which you should totally do, look at the item shop and leave lockboxes alone.

 

Riot Games Bro Culture, Testicle Flicking and Gender-Based Discrimination

Video Game Industry Scandals League of Legends Riot Games

Riot Games achieved intergalactic fame riding on the success of League of Legends, but by late 2018 it was talked about due to the worst possible reasons: an alleged culture of sexism, a “giant fraternity,” and a “bro culture” where women were not welcome. It was a place where women were discriminated against, as their career progression was stifled as positions went to less-qualified men.

Kotaku created an amazing article with several interviews that dropped like a bomb in the already fragile and scandal-ridden video game industry.

Naturally, this piece spread like wildfire and had severe repercussions, with Riot Games having to undertake some serious damage control. Riot’s COO Scott Gelb was in the spotlight by facing accusations from multiple employees about repeatedly flicking testicles, farting on employees or humping them for comedic effect. Sounds like a lot of fun when you are on the receiving end, right?

To cut a long story short, several former Riot Games employees started sharing their experiences after reading the articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and the least that can be said is that it is some heavy reading. Riot Games eventually apologized, but the damage was done, and the past can’t be erased. How it has affected the studio – and League of Legends – remains a bit of a mystery, but I doubt that it did them any favors. And it’s so easy to apologize after your humiliating studio culture is revealed to the world…

 

A Bad Case of Battle Royale – PUBG Corp Sues Left and Right

Video Game Industry Scandals PUBG

Here’s a lawsuit for you! And you! Everyone gets a lawsuit!

There is no denying that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the game that kickstarted the Battle Royale craze. It remains as one of the most played games in its genre, but it is now trailing behind Epic Games’ Fortnite, and Respawn’s Apex Legends is also proving to be a worthy challenger.

However, if there is one thing that developer PUBG Corporation can’t claim is having invented the Battle Royale genre or its mechanics. That is why suing Epic Games sounded more like a desperate attempt to put a stop to the rising fame of Fortnite Battle Royale than an authentic, credible case. It felt more like a kid throwing a tantrum because someone stole his candy. His delicious, everlasting candy.

But before the Epic Games lawsuit, there was a previous one targeting NetEase. PUBG Corporation wasn’t pleased with Knives Out and Rules of Survival, going to the extent of detailing several game mechanics over 100 pages. Claiming copyright infringement for things such as a pre-game lobby, the air jump, character attributes and much more seems a bit of a stretch. Sure, I’ll admit that the frying pan armor may be somewhat original, but still…

PUBG is a huge success and shady copycats were bound to happen, but it will be a depressing day when a studio is granted the copyright for trite game mechanics or a completely unremarkable game idea. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that the day will never come.

 

Trust Us, This Time It’s Good – Bless Online Western Release Mess

Video Game Industry Scandals Bless Online

Bless Online is the perfect lesson in exaggerated hype and subsequent disappointment. May its legacy serve as a warning for future generations about the dangers of high expectations.

For the lucky few who aren’t aware of the whole situation, Bless Online is a Korean fantasy MMORPG that was several years in the making and had a large budget as well. A few lackluster betas led to a Rebuild project that ended up not changing that much, and the attrition between original western publisher Aeria Games and developer Neowiz was a clear sign that Bless Online wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

Ultimately, Neowiz decided to self-publish Bless Online in the west through Steam, but with a major twist – it was going to be buy-to-play! An unfinished, buggy mess of a free-to-play Korean game that the western crowd was now expected to pay for. Oddly enough, many players cheered this decision because things are always better when you pay, right? With the reality shock and negative feedback stemming from the Early Access phase – because Bless Online wasn’t in development for long enough, you know –, there was a 180º turn and Bless Online’s official launch marked a switch to the original free-to-play business model. Too little, too late?

Apparently, yes. As the original Korean servers shut down, along with the failure of the Russian and Japanese versions. The Steam release of Bless Online is now the sole focus of Neowiz. Unsurprisingly, it is bleeding players and its future is uncertain, to say the least.

But I saved the best for last! Out of the blue, Neowiz and Bandai Namco announced Bless Unleashed, further stirring up the hornet’s nest, a.k.a. Bless Online PC players claiming that resources were being shifted to this upcoming game. This Xbox One exclusive is developed in Unreal Engine 4, is free-to-play and is scheduled for a 2019 launch. How does that old saying goes? Fool me once, shame on you…?

 

Who’s the Parent – Daybreak / Columbus Nova Chaos

Video Game Industry Scandals Daybreak PlanetSide Arena

Daybreak Game Company was in the spotlight for an important part of 2018, and no, it wasn’t due to the massive layoffs (around 70 people). It was because of all the confusion surrounding Daybreak’s alleged parent company, Columbus Nova.

The makers of Z1 Battle Royale, DC Universe Online and PlanetSide Arena, among others, were involved in a tangled web of miscommunication, doubt and unexpected twists. Daybreak has officially denied any affiliation with Columbus Nova, claiming that Jason Epstein, former member of Columbus Nova, is the primary owner of the studio. This conflicts with a 2015 privacy policy which described Columbus Nova as the parent company.

This almost feels like a detective movie, involving a Russian oligarch, billions worth of frozen assets and nail-biting suspense. All that is lacks is a romantic subplot, but let’s not make it more complicated than it already is.

 

Elves on Spaceships – Pearl Abyss Purchases CCP Games

Video Game Industry Scandals Black Desert Online

What does it take for one Korean studio to acquire a hugely reputed developer with a massive hit that has been live for more than 15 years? The answer has three words: Black Desert Online.

Pearl Abyss delivered a stunning MMORPG that is almost unrivaled when it comes to graphics and action combat. It is also incredibly deep and complex – so much so that it’s awfully grindy and requires a hefty dose of patience, and usually money, to become a powerful player. There are reports of players having spent over $5,000 USD on Black Desert Online, and I’m betting that is the tip of the iceberg.

With such revenue numbers, it’s clear that Pearl Abyss had a bit of pocket money. They decided to use it on the acquisition of CCP Games, makers of the intergalactic epic EVE Online. Apart from the upcoming release of EVE Online in Korea, we don’t know what other plans Pearl Abyss has for the Icelandic studio. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t involve spaceships landing in Black Desert Online.

 

A Handful of Nothing – Wargaming Seattle Closes Without a Single Release

Video Game Industry Scandals World of Tanks

Gas Powered Games is a name that brings back some pleasant memories. It takes me to a time when I enjoyed playing the Diablo-like Dungeon Siege, or the complex real-time strategy series Supreme Commander. However, in 2013 the studio was suffering from severe financial issues and ended up being purchased by World of Tanks publisher Wargaming.

Thus, Wargaming Seattle was born, along with hopes of a new “big free-to-play MMO” that never saw the light of day. Five years later, not a single piece of info or a measly screenshot was released to the public, and Wargaming decided to cut its losses. The studio was closed, affecting a 150-strong team and leaving the gaming community oblivious to what kind of project was in development.

However, this isn’t stopping Wargaming’s ambitions. The Belarusian company acquired Edge Case Games in November 2018 and has several partnerships with various developers, one of the latest being Ukrainian studio Frag Lab, which is working on a next-gen free-to-play MMO first-person shooter.

 

Not So Heroic – Marvel Heroes Downfall

Video Game Industry Scandals Marvel Heroes Gazillion

There was once a time when Marvel Heroes merged the best of two worlds: Diablo-like gameplay and super heroes. Sure, it didn’t have the greatest start, but just as it happened with other online games – League of Legends is the perfect example –, it eventually got better as development progressed, gameplay was finetuned and new heroes joined the fray.

After a few years of live service, some worrying news came to light, and not all of them involving the game. A sexual harassment scandal concerning Gazillion’s CEO Dave Dohrmann is a major problem, and Disney’s (owner of Marvel) intention to cut ties with Gazillion was a death sentence. It all ended with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2018, meaning that the studio wasn’t paying its creditors and was forced into bankruptcy by the same entities.

Gazillion workers ended up without any kind of PTO or severance, making the entire situation even more dramatic.

 

Worlds Divided – Gamigo Buys Trion Worlds

Video Game Industry Scandals Trove

Trion Worlds was once one of the most prolific free-to-play games publishers and developers. Trove, Rift, Defiance and Atlas Reactor are all their own doing, and you certainly have heard about ArcheAge as well.

While some of these games were moderate successes, they weren’t enough to keep the company afloat. In October 2018, German publisher Gamigo acquired Trion, along with the full rights to the aforementioned games. They even managed to get a few Gazillion assets (makers of Marvel Heroes) in the deal as well.

Gamigo was undoubtedly one of the top players in the free-to-play market when the genre was on the rise. Recently, however, its catalog is more discreet, with the decent shooter Ironsight being one of the latest releases.

 

Guild Lost – ArenaNet Layoffs and a Grim Future

Video Game Industry Scandals ArenaNet Guild Wars 2

For some reason, ArenaNet felt to me like one of those studios that couldn’t do any wrong. Sure, it’s not like they have done much besides Guild Wars and its sequel, but both MMORPGs were critically and commercially acclaimed, thus my appreciation and admiration for their spotless track record.

Nonetheless, there are very few studios that manage to keep going for years without the occasional new release. Founded in 2000, ArenaNet was allegedly working on two new projects, but delayed development and a shift of staff from Guild Wars 2 to these unannounced games ended up being an unsuccessful move.

Reports mention over 100 layoffs at ArenaNet following a restructuring decision by the studio’s owner NCSoft. The future of ArenaNet is now uncertain, and if there aren’t any new games in an advanced stage of development, there is only so much that new Guild Wars 2 expansions can do. I fear that we will end up seeing the talented staff being engulfed and separated by NCSoft in a not-so-distant future.

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Battle Royale Weekly: State of the Battle Royale Genre

IHS Markit put out a pretty extensive report this week that covered a lot of topics in the mobile games industry, but a good chunk of the 13-page report was specifically about the Battle Royale genre. So, this week, instead of our usual dive into the news from the genre I want to look at what this report has to say about Battle Royale games.

Click the image to enlarge it

The report begins with two charts side by side as seen above. One is the top 10 mobile games by net revenue and the other is the top 10 by the number of downloads. Right away we can see that PUBG mobile, with 274 million downloads doesn’t make the revenue chart at all while a game like Pokemon Go which brought in $729 million isn’t in the chart for downloads at all. In fact, the only game that appears on both charts is Candy Crush Saga which lands at number 9 for downloads and number 1 for net revenue. On the other side, Fortnite makes the chart for revenue near the bottom with $390 million in revenue and isn’t anywhere to be seen on the number of downloads. Clearly, we’re seeing that having a lot of downloads doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be making all of the money. Other Battle Royale titles on the charts include Garena Free Fire…and that’s all. Quite a lot of the games on the charts are considered to be hyper-casual games. The sort that makes adult women the largest demographic of gamers in the world right now, and yes, that is true.

In another chart, focusing just on Battle Royale games, we can see revenue and downloads together in one place. Downloads for PUBG Mobile are massive thanks to China, however, the game isn’t able to monetize that audience so they’re losing out in a big way. The revenue they do have for PUBG Mobile is for the international version of the game which can be monetized, but as you can see, that doesn’t amount to much. The revenue on that chart for Fortnite, by the way, is only for iOS since Epic has quite famously decided not to use the Google Play store to release the Android version of the game. Even with just one revenue source, we can look at how Fortnite still manages to completely dominate the industry. We can only imagine what that would look like with Android thrown in on top.

The report goes on to predict that the Battle Royale genre will go in a way that is similar to what we saw with the MOBA genre. They’re predicting that there will be a few high profile failures coming in the near future because of the extreme influx of competition. This is something we here at MMOGames have also been predicting since Battle Royale fever took over the industry. They also predict that we will see the genre filled with a lot of titles that never stand a chance at being at the top, and that there will be a high turnover for these games. We’re already seeing this on Steam with indie Battle Royale titles that sometimes only get a daily concurrent player count in the dozens. This is especially difficult for the Battle Royale genre because the games require a higher number of players to get a match going than you would see with other games. So, when a player logs in and is never able to get a match going they stop logging in. This in turn makes it even more difficult to get a match going and quickly the game is considered dead.

This isn’t all bad news for the industry and once again, our old friend esports is predicted to swoop in and save the day. While esports may not be bringing in much, if any money right now for Battle Royale games, it does keep interest in the games, which keeps people playing. Epic also announced in mid-2018 that they would be providing $100 million for prize pool funding to establish Fortnite’s esports scene.

Ultimately, however, the report points out that Battle Royale is more of a game mode than a fully fledged game genre in its own right. With this in mind, they say that we will see RPGs in Asia adding Battle Royale modes to their games as they did with MOBAs. Battle Royale games are limited in their scope and really, there’s only so much you can do with a Battle Royale game. That’s one of the reasons we’re seeing a decline in Fortnite. Players are growing tired of the same old formula and doing the same old thing, and Epic hasn’t yet found a way to keep things new and exciting all of the time.

One example of a game that has done this well is Pokemon Go. On the surface, Pokemon Go doesn’t really have a whole lot to it. Catch Pokemon, visit locations out in the real world, and catch more Pokemon. However, Niantic found its footing in 2018 with a constant stream of in-game events that take place at the very least once a month, though usually more often than that thanks to real life holidays and events. The game went from declining to one of the highest earning mobile games on the market thanks to this shift. For Fortnite to continue to enjoy being top dog in the genre it needs to find its footing like Pokemon Go did and work out a way to keep players interested more consistently. Otherwise, it risks losing the interest of players while only enjoying brief moments of popularity after new content releases.

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Tera and PUBG Crossover Event Announced

A month-long Tera and PUBG crossover event has been announced for Tera on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. During the event, you’ll be able to earn and unlock exclusive themed costumes and pets as well as getting daily login bonuses for the entire duration of the event. Of course, the sick rewards aren’t the only things you’ll find in Tera during the event. Tera players can look forward to dropping in and engaging PUBG-style BAMs. What that looks like beyond this one BAM, well we’ll just have to wait and see.

Decorative jeeps and planes will be littered around Highwatch and players will need to keep their eyes open for PUBG-themed consumables and air drops. While there will be things to grab and BAMs to take down the event is being labeled as a dungeon event so expect to do some dungeon diving too.

So if you need to gear up your Popori with a welder’s mask and a frying pan (and let’s be honest, everyone needs a frying pan) be sure to log in to Tera every day starting on March 5th.

Sadly for PUBG players, there isn’t a crossover event with TERA yet but I think it’s safe to say we all hope to get some of those amazing Castanic looks in PUBG. Or maybe that’s just me. If one does get announced we’ll be sure to update this post.

Crossover events like these are pretty common for studios with multiple online titles like Bluehole who run both Tera and PUBG. They’re fun, though a little bit immersion breaking at times. Of course, that isn’t a problem for Tera who already has things like comical little police cars and Hello Kitty items.

 

If you want more information about the Tera and PUBG crossover event check out the trailer below and the announcement on the official site.

Source: Press Release

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Battle Royale Weekly: State of the Battle Royale Genre

Every week here in the Battle Royale Weekly column we take a look at the news from just the Battle Royale genre, much of which doesn’t get reported by other games media sites. Currently, our list includes 38 Battle Royale titles that we check every week for anything new to talk about. Last week, however, there were only a few games across the entire genre that had news. That’s…shocking really. What made it even worse was that going through that list we found many of the games hadn’t received an update in months and their populations according to Steam Charts were below 10 players a day. So instead of focusing on the news this week, we thought it was time to take a look at the state of the Battle Royale genre.

Before we get started, let’s address the two big elephants in the room: Fortnite and PUBG. As two of the biggest, most popular games in the entire game industry they stand out from the rest of the genre. Both games are doing very well and are essentially the pillars that are holding up the Battle Royale genre. However, they’re also the reason the rest of the genre is struggling. Fortnite is so big that Netflix sees them as a bigger threat than HBO. Fortnite and PUBG are proving to have amazing brand loyalty and from the looks of it, many players aren’t interested in trying out the competition that is sprouting up online.

So, where is the genre going wrong? Well, to start with many Battle Royale games are buy-to-play, meaning you have to pay for the game once to get access to it. Fortnite, the biggest game in the world, is a free-to-play title. Fortnite makes its money through the in-game store selling dances and cosmetic items. This is something it was able to do because unlike the smaller games in the genre it had the backing of a massive studio that could afford to develop the game and allow it to grow in popularity while not bringing much money in. Many Battle Royale games are indies and have very small budgets to start with. They need that initial push of players buying the game to help them continue the development. Unfortunately, that puts them at a massive disadvantage.

Another place that the genre is going wrong is not having very good PR. For most of that list of 38 games, we have to go to their Steam store page to find any news about them. Many of these games don’t issue press releases and they don’t offer review codes both of which would put their game in the public’s eye and attract more players to it. Instead, they’re relying on being seen on social media, being seen on Steam, and word of mouth. This method quite simply isn’t working. Games that are still in Early Access and still being developed are seeing incredibly low player numbers. This makes future development on the game difficult, especially since as mentioned above, they typically are relying on money they don’t have to finish the development of the game. In fact, their lack of being in the public’s eye is what inspired us to start this column to begin with. There are some really amazing, gorgeous looking games that aren’t getting the attention they need to survive.

While there are some beautiful, fun games in the genre it is lacking in ingenuity. Many of the games have just taken the basic concept of the genre and slapped a different art style or setting on it. That isn’t enough to make the game stand out and it isn’t enough to pull people away from Fortnite, a game that is much more established and always has enough players for a match. That may not be the fault of the developers, rather the restrictions of the genre. There are only so many ways you can combine the idea of the survival game with last man standing gameplay. There are different modes that are being introduced in Battle Royale games, so perhaps not starting with the traditional mode would work for new games.

Many Battle Royale games suffer from developer abandonment issues. When a game’s Steam page hasn’t had a news update in 3 months, it’s very easy for it to look like that game has been abandoned by the developer. Maybe it has, or maybe they’re just hard at work behind the scenes and they’re active on social media or in their Discord. This adds to the perception that the game has been abandoned. It’s also a sad fact that many Battle Royale games HAVE been abandoned by their developers. This can happen for a number of reasons and every time it happens it hurts the genre a little bit more.

Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale

While the MMOGames office is still torn over whether or not there’s room for more games in the Battle Royale genre, there is one thing we agree on: the genre is still in its infancy and 2019 will be the year that either makes or breaks Battle Royale games.

Hopefully next week we’ll be back to having news to report on for the Battle Royale genre that isn’t just Fortnite getting sued by ANOTHER artist (this makes 5 now) or PUBG’s latest update. If you’re interested in trying out a Battle Royale game that isn’t Fortnite or PUBG take a look at our Battle Royale Beta List. It’s filled with the smaller indie Battle Royale games that you won’t see talked about anywhere else. If there’s a Battle Royale game that you love and would like to get the word out about leave a comment below telling us and other readers about it!

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Battle Royale Weekly: Fortnite is Hosting a Concert

In this week’s look at the Battle Royale genre we see the first signs of a release date for Fear the Wolves, but could it be too soon? There’s also going to be a Fortnite concert, and PUBG is making itself more available for those with subpar PCs. Plus news from Ring of Elysium and Rules of Survival.

 

Fear the Wolves Gets A Release Date

Fear The Wolves

We haven’t heard a whole lot from Fear the Wolves recently and it seems that’s because they’re gearing up to launch. The game will officially release on February 6th but the developers have said that they may do a soft launch a few days early just to make sure everything is running smoothly.

In addition to launching on February 6th, the game will also be free to play until February 12th. This will give new players the opportunity to try out the game just as it is starting out. On top of that, they’re offering a 50% discount for the game during the free period because you will have to buy the game to play it outside of the February 6-12th window.

Many of the comments on the announcement express concern that the game isn’t ready yet. They only started Early Access back in August and as it stands now reviews on Steam are mixed with just 53% of reviews being positive. Those who have played said they’re worried that the game isn’t ready yet and that the developers are rushing the game out the door. Next week when the servers go live, and the game is available to the world, we’ll find out if these concerns were warranted or not.

Source: Steam

 

Fortnite Hosting a Concert

fortnite concert

Have you ever wished you could see your favorite musician play in your favorite video game? Well if you’re a fan of DJ Marshmello and your favorite game is Fortnite then you’re in luck. This Saturday the DJ will take to the stage in Pleasant Park. These kinds of one-off events have helped cement Fortnite’s popularity, though this is the first time there’s ever been a concert performed in the game.

Of course, thanks to events in the past, we know that things don’t always go according to plan. In fact, many people who have wanted to take part in previous events have found themselves dead before the events even began and were unable to participate. In the past Epic has taken away weapons for these events and even transported players to another area. It isn’t clear what, if any, precautions Epic is going to take for this concert. In fact, Epic hasn’t even announced it’s happening at all. The only evidence it’s taking place appears on Marshmello’s site, which lists Pleasant Park as an upcoming tour location. With the concert just a few days away we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Source: The Verge

 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Lite in Testing

PUBG is currently testing a slimmed down version of the game that will play on PCs that don’t meet the hardware specs for the regular game. Right now it’s being tested in Thailand and we may never actually see it in the West. It’s being developed specifically for “players in areas where the core game’s required specifications are more difficult to achieve due to the hardware available.”

PUBG Lite has its own dedicated development team, which means that work on it isn’t taking away from the main game. This version of the game will get its own exclusive content and quality of life features. Right now the game is offering solo, duo, and squad battles in third person mode.

While we may never see PUBG Lite released in this part of the world, it is incredibly good news for the game as it opens up the possibility of it being played by an all-new audience that never would have had access before. That means more revenue for PUBG Corp, which of course means more development for the game. We’ll be watching to see what kind of impact this has on financial reports in the future.

Source: Polygon

 

Ring of Elysium Introduces New Systems

Ring of Elysium has introduced two new systems to the game adding to the complexity with the first being accessories. This allows you to further customize your characters after you’ve purchased accessories from the lobby store.

The second new system is vehicle appearance. When a player gets into the car, in any seat, and the car is in the default appearance the vehicle will automatically change to the player’s selected vehicle appearance. Each vehicle’s appearance can only be modified once. This also includes vehicles that are abandoned by the player who originally made the change. Just like with the accessories, the vehicle skins will need to be purchased in the lobby store.

Neither of these new systems are game-changing in any way, but for players who enjoy leaving their mark on a match and having a unique look these new systems give them more to work with.

Ring of Elysium is also holding a Spring card-flip raffle event from January 31st to February 13th. The event is a great way to get some new skins for your characters and vehicles.

Source: Steam

 

Rules of Survival Season Six and Spring Events

Rules of Survival

Season Six of Rules of Survival has begun! This means that rank data has all been cleared and a new winner can rise to the top. There is also no longer a level limit for character upgrades. Characters can be upgraded without limitation. When players reach levels 100, 200, and 300 they can claim Exclusive Level Medallions, Avatar Frames, and other rewards that prove they’re awesome. Due to this, and the introduction of level chests, gold rewards will no longer be handed out at the end of games.

Finally, Spring Festival Events will be gradually introduced to the game. These includes things like fireworks and a new emote.

If you haven’t tried it out yet you may want to take a look at Rules of Survival. It has one of the most active playerbases outside of the big games in the genre.

Source: Steam

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