Two current phenomenons in gaming, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite: Battle Royale have proven one thing beyond all doubt: people just can’t get enough of the large-scale, every-man-for-himself battle royale formula.
PC’s PUBG has experienced explosive success since it entered Early Access in March earlier this year, and has broken seven Guinness World Records without breaking a sweat. These include becoming the fastest Steam Early Access game to sell one million units, and the first videogame to reach two million concurrent players on steam.
Whilst Fortnite: Battle Royale, with its concurrent player count of around 800,000, has yet to break any records, the game recently surpassed PUBG in overall downloads with an incredible 20 million unique players, despite being released six months after its competitor. It’s official: both games are a resounding success.
It comes as no surprise, then, to see other developers throw their hat in the battle-royale ring — Call of Duty Online, a free to play CoD game available only in mainland China, is adding a ‘survival mode’ in December. Featuring a game show theme, the mode will see 18 players battle it out to be the last man standing, spawning with nothing and picking up perks and weapons to help outlive the competition.
It’s currently anyone’s guess as to whether we’ll see this survival mode make its way over to Call of Duty: WWII. Such a move certainly wouldn’t be surprising for the series – back in March this year Raven Software debuted new game mode Prop Hunt on Modern Warfare: Remastered as a temporary weekend event. The mode was so popular with fans that it returned in 3 more weekend events until finally being made a permanent game mode in August.
Clearly, Call of Duty has no problems with adding new game modes if they create a buzz around current title. And with the battle royale format taking the games industry by storm this year, no-one should be writing off a move to WWII if Call of Duty Online’s new survival mode proves a hit with players.