Hi-Rez Studios’ ‘Paladins’ next to join the battle royale bandwagon

Possibly the biggest success story in the gaming scene throughout the previous year would be PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). An unfinished MOD by a single person, Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, topped the charts of Steam, making it the game with the highest number of concurrent players surpassing Valve’s Dota 2 and even Counter Strike: Global offensive. The game, before it was even formally released from early access, took over the gaming community by storm. Streamers and esports organisations were swift to hop on to the bandwagon and soon it became a title to be reckoned with. Almost every gamer I know, who enjoys online multiplayers was smitten by the PUBG bug. Given the game was still replete with bugs and glitches coupled with very mediocre graphics, it was possibly the mode which made the game what it is today. The idea of this mode came to the creator as an inspiration from the 2000 movie, Battle Royale and hence the nomenclature. A large map plays host to around 100 players per match who are dropped on an abandoned island through parachutes. The players must find tools and weapons in order to fight against others. As the match rolls in the playable area on the map shrinks, forcing players towards an inevitable faceoff, the last player or team standing wins the match. Now, the mode seems to have unmistakably noticed by other people in the industry who are already integrating it into their own games. Initially, it was picked up by Epic Games for their title Fortnite, as a standalone mode. While not necessarily anguished, the creators of PUBG, Bluehole, were displeased with Epic Games’ way of promoting the mode, which is also free to play. With speculations rife on which will be the next title adhering to the mode, the gaming circuit finally found their answer a few days back. Hi-Rez Studio’s Paladins will soon be having its own Battle Royale-like mode. Titled ‘Battlegrounds’, the first hero shooter battle royale mode, the studio of Smite fame is also set to showcase its take on the mode. Should we expect more of these modes or new titles circling around it? We might as well. Given the popularity PUBG has risen to, it will not be a surprise if more developers try to encash on the current trend. Already Tencent is planning to release PUBG in China with a localised version, even on mobile devices. The “Last Man Standing” genre of games seems to be here to stay, or is PUBG enjoying the harbinger status? Possibly the likelihood of the later being true are less. More and more studios might try to capitalise on the mode as it provides a lot of stickiness despite not being an MMORPG. If you’re playing a match as a team and your teammates are not around when you get shot, the chances of your demise are pretty high, and in most (ideal) scenarios you would be waiting for your team to finish their matches while spectating their game and hence the catch. PUBG recently went ahead of its early access status to a formal release. It was also recently launched on Xbox One and continues to push out patches with new maps and gameplay improvements, but in the end, it’s the gameplay and the mode which is the deciding factor for the players to continue swarming the battlegrounds.