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First month: the battle royales

Posted Mar 24, 2019

Nowadays the genre of battle royale has become an integral part of the world of computer games. Additionally, the creators of such games have decided to enter esports nearly simultaneously, with their projects now being the main disciplines of any festival or major esports event. But what about the beginnings of these titans of the genre?

Today we look at the three currently popular representatives of this class of games: Fortnite, PUBG and Apex Legends. Within this article, we will try to demonstrate how each of the above-mentioned games started.

The first in the list will be the progenitor of the genre, and therefore we are talking about PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It was the game which has literally filled the world with survival battles. Since the release of this shooter, almost every other project felt obligated to add a “Battle Royale” mode.

Brendan Greene's creation has enjoyed a decent amount of attention since its first days. The novelty of the genre, interesting mechanics and an amazing battlefield for 100 persons simply left the public no reasons to ignore it. The hype was fueled by many popular streamers, their combined effort giving the project an excellent start.


Despite the product being quite unpolished, it managed to gather a huge audience – five days after the release Twitch.tv has peaked at 400 thousand viewers. Aside of this, one could count lots of channels engaged in broadcasting PUBG content, the numbers reaching up to 4 thousand channels or more. For comparison, nowadays less than a half of the aforementioned amount still keeps their loyalty to the shooter.

For a long time, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds did not have a worthy competitor – until the Epic Games took over. This studio took its game (called Fortnite) as a basis and added the battle royale mode to it. While the main product was paid, the new mode was available to everyone, something that sets it apart from PUBG.

In many ways, this has played a cruel joke with Bluehole and their creation – for unlike them, Epic Games didn't dare to sell own game directly. This time, the developers decided to make money on the in-game purchases. The players were offered skins and a lot of other visual content that did not affect the power levels.

Still, at that time the domination of Fortnite was out of the question. In its first month, the respective Twitch category has peaked at a mere 75 thousand viewers, something that wasn't even close to its competitor. On average, the battle royale streams were watched by 20-30 thousand viewers total.

As for the number of channels, the overall picture wasn't looking too good, either. On average, their number has reached 2 thousand. Comparing this to the modern times, we can see that the figure has grown 10 times since. Quite a worthy achievement, isn't it?

The final item to inspect would be the Apex Legends. The newcomer from the creators of Titanfall and Call of Duty became a real sensation starting from its first days. This shooter has definitely ended its month on a high note!

In the 30 days since its release, Apex has literally shaken up the existing genre. During the release of Twitch's category the total online presence amounted to 400 thousand viewers, whereas on the tournament from the same platform this figure reached 600 thousand viewers. As for the other two games we've mentioned, neither of them has managed to beat these results.

While the same figure has dropped to 180 thousand viewers near the end of the month, it has still allowed the game to overtake PUBG's positions while staying a strong rival to Fortnite. What about the amount of channels broadcasting the game? The peak amount of Apex Legends-streaming pages has nearly reached 18 thousand. Nowadays, the average amount would be around 7-8 thousand channels.

Overall, it can be noted that Apex Legends is a clear leader among the three. But each of the games once managed to become the leader of the platform – only to be subsequently toppled by a more new and fresh rival. In the future, this situation may definitely change once more – and maybe we will see another dark horse stepping in.

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