'They want this Fortnite audience': Rivals are probably going to copy battle royale mode

Electronic Arts

  • Fortnite’s widely successful battle royale mode has prompted game franchises like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Red Dead Redemption to consider offering the mode.
  • Shooter games in particular are looking to take some of Fortnite’s audience.

Fortnite captured audiences with its battle royale gameplay and quickly became one of the most talked-about games of 2018. Now, many of its gaming rivals plan to roll out battle royale modes of their own to emulate Fortnite’s massive success.

“You’re gonna see a lot of other games take Fortnite’s core game play and copy it,” Jefferies analyst Timothy O’Shea told Business Insider. “At E3 there’s going to be a lot of talk of battle royale.”

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as “E3,” which takes place on June 12, will bring developers, publishers, and manufacturers together to showcase the newest and best products to be released over the next year. O’Shea expects Battlefield V to be one of the games introducing a battle royale mode at the event. So far, Battlefield owner Electronic Arts has been quiet on whether the latest addition to the Battlefield franchise will be include its own battle royale mode.

Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, scheduled to be released in October, is already known to have added its own version of the mode, called Blackout. The much anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2, owned by Take-Two Interactive Software, will probably come out with a battle royale mode, he said.

“EA and Activision, they want this Fortnite audience,” he said. The addition of battle royale modes across the different game franchises are both defensive and offensive according to O’Shea. Game companies want a share of the broad Fortnite audience, which is likely new to shooter games. On the defensive side, established franchises like Call of Duty will offer the battle royale mode in order to keep their players engaged and disincentivize them from moving on, he said.

While every game doesn’t lend itself to a battle royale gameplay, shooter games will have a fairly easy time adding the feature, O’Shea said. The low barrier of entry may be a potential threat. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds came out with the battle royale style in December 2017 and saw massive success. Then, Fortnite entered the space with its own battle royale mode. He noted that while PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds remains popular, Fortnite’s emergence changed its growth curve.

“Fortnite is the real deal,” O’Shea said, but he expects the number of franchises tacking on battle royale modes to have a modest impact on the widely popular game.

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