Battle royale is quickly becoming a crowded genre with the likes of Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and more captivating gamers. That doesn’t mean that developers can’t innovate on the last man standing idea, however. The indie side of the business is often from where some of the most unique game ideas stem, and with Fall Guys from indie label Devolver Digital and British indie studio Mediatonic, that’s exactly what we’ve got.
The team took the battle royale formula and effectively mixed it with a Mario Party or comedic game show feel. The variety of obstacle courses and cute, Minion-like characters makes Fall Guys a title for any age, unlike the shooter-focused games in the genre. The result so far is 2 million copies sold on Steam in its first week, 7 million sold in its first month, and an unknown number sold on PS4 where it was also available as the free PlayStation Plus download of the month – the game has become the most downloaded PS Plus freebie in history. Aside from garnering solid reviews, Fall Guys has also gained streaming exposure among content creators like PewDiePie, Dr Disrespect, and Tfue.
While Fall Guys has emerged as one of the breakout hits of the summer, it’s not entirely surprising given the continued popularity of the battle royale genre and gamers’ support for indie developers. Interpret’s NMM: Global Profiles® shows that battle royale games are the fifth most popular genre, currently ahead of RPGs, MOBAs, fighting games, and action adventure games.
Additionally, almost a quarter of gamers worldwide have purchased an indie title over the last year, with 52% of battle royale players having purchased an indie game. It’ll be interesting to see just how far Devolver Digital can take Fall Guys given that gamers are saying it’s just as fun to spectate on YouTube or Twitch as it is to play. Could esports be next?