There is no hiding from the fact that the biggest trend in gaming right now is the battle royale. The audience-grabbing trend is definitely nothing new for gamers, who have been low-key engaging with the trend since 2012’s Hunger Games-themed Minecraft multiplayer mode and 2015’s Survival of the Fittest mode for Ark: Survival Evolved. But the fact that the trend has gained so much mainstream attention, largely due to the international popularity of Fortnite and its more than 100 million downloads, shows that the trend has wedged itself into the gaming zeitgeist. While there looks to be no stopping battle royale formatted games, what could the next step in gaming be, should the bright star of battle royale wane?
The Move Towards More Engaging Social Gaming
Gaming habits are revolutionary in nature. Battle royale games may be claiming the title as the most popular gaming genre at the moment, but the tide could just as easily change in a few weeks or months. First-person shooters found themselves edged out for more of a social level of gaming. Fortnite, Battlerite, and the countless other battle royale format games lean more heavily on interaction with other players, whereas FPS’ were a solo activity. That said, some still retain strong popularity, such as the Call of Duty series. Socialization in gaming can be seen across the board, and the popularity gained by battle royales shows that as gamers we want to have an immersive experience that we can talk about in person and across social media, as well as an engaging game. The next stage of gaming will likely follow suit with the social aspects and perhaps be even more compatible as a sharer across social media platforms. Social gaming is definitely on the rise and finding a way to occupy this space will be what the next big trend should do.
Customizable Gaming Entertains Fans
With the tech rises of recent years, gaming has been able to tailor gameplay experiences per person. Customizable characters and locations in several big games allow players to feel valued as individual customers and part of the entire fabric of the gameplay experience. We’ve already seen this through online slots, as Betway Casino shows through the gamification of online casinos offering customizable slot game experiences. As Forbes explains, AR-themed games are unique experiences for each player based on the code for what is encountered and the physical location the player finds themselves in, with Pokémon Go being the most prominent example in recent years. The Conan Exiles game allows such detailed character customization that players are taking to Reddit to discuss how detailed they are planning on going, which celebrities they plan on creating, and how much like themselves they want their character to be. The customization allows players to feel as though they are developing their own games. They will automatically feel favorable towards the game and will likely enjoy playing it more.
Battle Royale Locks Horns with Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Gaming
MOBAs also enjoyed their time in the sun – and while League of Legends and Dota 2 are still going strong, the move towards a more battle-centric game shows that we want quicker bursts of games that can help us develop our skills in the game. Becoming an eSport shows that the games played have not just a level of skill necessary, but one that can be improved with adequate practice. Many gaming experts are comparing the boom battle royale is enjoying to the boom that MOBA experienced a few years ago. Some argue that battle royale will go the way of MOBA and instead of becoming a genre that churns out game after game (like FPS), there will be several dominant forces and many other flops. One huge difference is the burden of knowledge that battle royale beats MOBA in. For many MOBA titles, a huge amount of backstory and gameplay information is needed, whereas battle royale is a click and play kind of game style, breaking down barriers to entry. The popularity of battle royales is yet to be seen, at least as far as to whether it can emerge as a fully-fledged genre or simply remain a string of popular titles.
The battle royale trend looks to set in as several new titles have been announced to be released throughout the year. The next step in gaming is one that both is difficult to predict and also very easy, if you were to analyze where gaming is now, where it’s been and where it’s likely to end up.