Is battle royale a genre? A passing fad? We explore its roots to better understand where battle royale is going.
While it may feel like Fortnite’s popularity came out of nowhere, the reality is that there’s almost no such thing as an overnight success, especially not in the games industry.
Where did it all begin?
As Digital Trends pointed out, H1Z1 came before Fortnite and even PUBG, and was a distinctly battle royale game.
But the mod community appears to be the responsible source of the battle royale madness. In particular, Minecraft had a popular mod based off of “The Hunger Games” book and film series, which share a similar premise to the book “Battle Royale,” which is where the name of the concept originated.
The public fascination with the “last man standing” concept goes back about two decades, but the standards of battle royale mode are, relatively, still quite fresh but often repeated: a set number of starting participants, a massive playing field that becomes increasingly smaller, and a frantic search for weapons.
Fortnite is a household name these days. Epic Games’ free-to-play battle royale mode of the game pulls in $2 million a day on its mobile version alone. That’s without considering the revenue pulled in on PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4.