Scheduled for August 11, the title of Ubisoft will try to find a place alongside “Fortnite”, “Warzone” and other “Apex Legends”. A glance at a genre that brings in billions.
In game as behind the screen, the battle rages in the video game genre of Battle Royale. Popularized in recent years by the behemoth “Fortnite”, the segment has since seen a myriad of titles rush into the breach, attracted by the record revenues of the game from Epic Games. Last announced in this big family, Ubisoft’s “Hyper Scape” will try to shake up the top names in the sector from August 11, while applying the same recipe as its competitors. Analysis.
Simple and eye-catching concept
More or less invented by “H1Z1: King of the Kill” in 2015, truly launched with “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (“PUBG”) in 2016 then successfully copied by “Fortnite” in 2017, the genre of Battle Royale is defined above all by its simple and catchy concept: parachuted on an immense map, a hundred players compete, solo or in teams, in order to be the last standing survivor. The elimination being final, the adrenaline is at its peak, and this aspect has not escaped the scene of streaming and esports. In 2017, “PUBG” was entitled to its first major tournament at Gamescom, before “Fortnite” made the genre of Battle Royale history with its world cup at $ 30 million in 2019. Since then, from “Call of Duty: Warzone” to “Apex Legends”, each title clearly shows its ambitions in terms of competition.
At the same time, the Battle Royale arouses the enthusiasm of streamers and spectators, and carves out a prominent place on broadcasting platforms such as Twitch. On Monday August 3, “Fortnite” thus occupied the 4th position of the most watched games, with more than 160,000 simultaneous spectators, “Warzone” the 6th place, and “PUBG” was in an honorable 16th position. The segment is therefore accompanied by an important community side, which “Hyper Scape” intends to push even further. Thanks to an add-on on Twitch, viewers will be able to directly act on the part of a streamer, for example by voting to choose a triggerable event in the game.
Real goose that lays golden eggs
But apart from a strong concept and tailored for e-sport, the genre of Battle Royale is also and above all distinguished by an economic model “free-to-play” which drives the cash drawer crazy. And there again, it is Epic Games which opened Pandora’s box, by offering its first “Fortnite” game for free while incorporating a paid “battle pass” made up of cosmetic elements. Structured around recurring seasons lasting a few months, complemented by a permanent online store, the business model quickly produced dizzying figures.
Thus, in 2018, “Fortnite” brought in about $ 2.4 billion, according to the firm SuperData. In 2019, its revenues generated $ 1.8 billion. Even if the exact amounts are disputed by Epic Games, especially since the firm had mentioned a drop in income in 2020, these give an idea of the size of the market. Blown away by the success of “Fortnite”, “PUBG” then hastened to offer a similar “battle pass” from 2018. And the method generally seems to work well for other titles, since according to a recent study, “Call of Duty: Warzone” would bring in no less than $ 2.7 million per day to its publisher, Activision.
Announced for August 11, “Hyper Scape” relies on fast games, a futuristic setting and a vertical map to stand out from the competition. A first season and a 100-level “battle pass” have already been announced by Ubisoft to accompany the game’s release.