Fortnite brought ‘Battle Royale’ games to the masses. Has the genre peaked?

The World Cup was shown on huge 4K LED screens in the stadium. More than two-fifths of the gamers in the U.S. played Fortnite or two other battle royale games in May.
/Credit Brian Finke for The New York Times

The “fight for survival” type of games popularized by Fortnite has inspired imitators hoping to cash in. But there are signs of saturation in the market

By Jason M. Bailey | The New York Times

In battle royale games like Fortnite, players skirmish in a shrinking landscape with one goal: to be the last one standing. Ambition in the genre itself is more modest, with imitators piling on in hopes of sharing in the riches.

Within the past year, established video game franchises like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Fallout have added battle royale modes, and small studios have sought to capitalize on the craze with evocative titles like Darwin Project. It is even possible to try outlasting 98 opponents in a game of Tetris.

Many companies have calculated that the genre, which began as a player’s experiment and has exploded into a cultural phenomenon, has long-term viability. Diverting resources and delaying other projects can be risky, but financial rewards beckon.

More than 50 million copies of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, a fight-for-survival game known as PUBG, were sold in the game’s first 16 months. And Fortnite: Battle Royale, the genre’s crown jewel, generated $2.4 billion in revenue last year, according to the analysis firm SuperData Research.


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