Realm Royale - the game where you turn into a chicken when you die - has lost almost all its players since its launch in June.
Oh, dang. All too often, clinical corporate PowerPoint presentations (with line graphs) are the measure of all success in life. Is your line pointing upwards? Good job, you’re a winner. Is it pointing downwards? Sorry, you lose. Realm Royale’s graph is most certainly pointing way, way down.
Of course, the battle royale genre is a cruel mistress. You know how it always is, when a game really hits the big time. Take something like Super Mario Kart. Kart racers simply weren’t a thing before that, and when it took off, everyone from Sonic the Hedgehog to the Crazy dang Frog was getting in on the action (yep, Crazy Frog Racer existed, and it was diabolically bad).
As you’ve probably noticed, battle royale games are one heckola of a hot property at the moment. A little title called Fortnite (you may have heard of it) is being played by absolutely everybody just now. Such is the power of Fortnite, it didn’t even need to win the most votes for the Teen Choice Video Game Award, it just Fortnite-ed its way to a dubious victory anyway.
So, yes. With all of the pretenders and imitators flooding the market, (FPS heavyweight Call of Duty is getting a battle royale mode in Black Ops 4, because of course it is) we’re getting dangerously saturated here. This town ain’t big enough for umpteen billion battle royale knock-offs. Numbers don’t lie, and Realm Royale is in a particularly sorry state.
For the uninitiated, Realm Royale is a spin-off of hero shooter Paladins. Its main gimmick (and let’s be honest with ourselves here, it’s a fantastic one) is that players are transformed into chickens when they’re defeated. Despite this beautiful creativity, Realm Royale’s playerbase is shrinking fast.
According to Eurogamer, the game peaked at 105,440 players on June 10, but registered only 5561 this past Wednesday. That’s a staggering drop of just shy of 95%, in the space of just over two months.
Even if the bubble has burst on this particular title, the battle royale genre as a whole is going to be darn tough to shift. With the barnstorming success of Fortnite (and the hope that PUBG will successfully ‘fix the game’ and regain its momentum), it doesn’t look as though the concept itself is going anywhere.