It’s fair to say that Realm Royale is the game that many of us bought and played without expecting to enjoy it so much. It’s gameplay is a nice detour from the two titans of the battle royale genre: Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite. With unique features such as abilities, crafting, and chickens, Realm Royale sets itself apart from its competitors. While still called a “spoof” of the genre by some, this spoof recently reached over 100,000 concurrent players. While still in alpha, the game has started to poise itself to be a competitor to the likes of PUBG and Fortnite.
Realm Royale is refreshing to many people who have dedicating tens of hours to playing other battle royale games. The highlight feature of the game, crafting, is a new take on the genre that has attracted many new players in and of itself. Another feature is its class system, which makes each game unique as your gameplay will change each time you change your class. Working with teammates in Realm Royale isn’t just about how skilled you are at the game, but what class you play and how you play it. To friends, I have described this game as a “MMORPG meets Fortnite” type of game. Realm Royale not only attracts battle royale fans but also MMORPG players. It’s at a unique cross section that will help keep both new players and experienced players coming for quite sometime.
It’s future success is very much dependent on where the game’s developer, Hi-Rez Studios, decides to take the game. Best known for its unique takes on already popular game genres, such as Smite and the MOBA genre, Hi-Rez this time is trying their hand at the massively popular battle royale genre. While seemingly receptive to their playerbase (as seen by their implementation of a solo queue mode), this wouldn’t be the first time Hi-Rez failed to deliver on a game that was already popular with its playerbase. Although Hi-Rez’s Tribes: Ascend had been ranked #8 in a PC Gamer Article of the Best Shooters of All Time, the game was unceremoniously abandoned by the company a little over a year after being released.
This has caused some concern for players who are unsure if they want to dedicate massive amounts of time to a game that is so early in the development phase. There are many uncertainties about the future of the game, so instead I’d like to focus on what it has already achieved. For many players like myself, PUBG and Fortnite were the only legitimate battle royale games. With this bias in mind, it seemed incredibly unlikely that other titles could join the ranks of these two incredibly popular games. Realm Royale was the x-factor.
Undoubtedly the most popular genre of 2018, battle royale was expected to be somewhat of an oligarchy for Bluehole studios (PUBG) and Epic Games (Fortnite). Realm Royale defied these expectations by achieving such a large and dedicated playerbase. In doing so, they showed not only players, but game developers that the battle royale genre is open to new games with new ideas. The same cannot be said for other genres. The MMORPG genre, for instance, is plagued by games that try to emulate the success of already established games, known primarily as “World of Warcraft clones.” In the MOBA genre, League of Legends and DOTA 2 have maintained their iron grip on the playerbase despite new contenders, such as Smite or Heroes of the Storm, entering the space.
The popularity of Realm Royale has proven that the battle royale genre is open to new games entering the space. While new games may never reach the success that PUBG and Fortnite have, that isn’t necessarily the point. The battle royale genre, with its competitive nature and thrilling gameplay is one that is appealing to many gamers regardless of their game genre preference. Using the battle royale mode as a starting template, there are many different takes on the genre that not only can succeed, but are welcomed by the playerbase.
Competition fosters better competition. This is no less true for players in a Realm Royale match than it is for game developers. Whether you enjoy playing Realm Royale, PUBG, or Fortnite, you should be rooting for the success of Realm Royale. The game’s success will force titles such as PUBG and Fortnite to introduce new gameplay mechanics and features to keep players coming back. It will also raise the standard that new games will have to achieve before making a name for themselves in the battle royale ecosystem. Realm Royale, if nothing else, is just healthy competition and a whole lot of fun to play.