What Makes Battle Royale Compelling?

Probably the most successful game of 2017 was Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG as it is commonly called. Following its success, other games were quick to add battle royale, or last man standing, modes of their own. Now PUBG was not the first battle royale style game. In fact the game’s namesake seems to have been the lead on a couple other attempts at the same thing such as a mod for Arma III and the H1Z1 battle royale mode.

Today I want to look at a couple of reasons that I think these style of games are interesting to play, and to play again and again.

Its a Suspense

There is a lot of downtime in the game, especially around the middle. Most of the players who have landed near each other have fought and now it is positioning and looting. You are running around picking up armor, weapons, and ammo.

But at any point, BLAM, you could run into another player and be fighting it out to the death. So even though there might be lulls in the action, you always have to be on edge. A good suspense is all about keeping you on that edge. Lots of close calls.

There is also a need to use your hearing to detect enemy movement. Was that somebody else’s foot step or mine? I hear them loading a shotgun!

Its a Story

Every time you jump in, its a new story.

It could be a bad beat story where you dropped next to some guy, he got a rifle and you got a smoke grenade and guess what, you are back in the lobby.

It could be a story of dropping in the middle of nowhere, finding some low quality loot like a SMG and level 1 armor but through stealth and cunning you find your way in the top ten with a chance at a chicken dinner.

It could be a story of you and your squad mates battling through, picking each other up, sharing gear, communicating enemy positions and sharing the thrill together.

It could be a story of joining a random squad and getting run over by your foreign language speaking team (I am looking at you Chinese players in loud Internet cafes).

Whatever your story is, it is different almost every time. And good or bad, it is usually got some interesting or exciting element to it that makes it shareable.

This is just some things to think about for replayableness if you are looking for things that keep players coming back to your game.

Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.

p.s. If you haven’t tried a battle royale style game, Epic’s Fortnite battle royale mode is free to play.

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