Battle Royale (video game genre)

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Synonyms: Last Man Standing
See also: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Battle Royale (trope), Battle Royale (franchise)
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Battle royale is an online multiplayer video game genre originating from the modding community. It blends elements of exploration and scavenging from the survival game genre with the popular multiplayer deathmatch genre of Last Man Standing. Matches can involve anywhere from 2 players to several hundred players in small teams of 3-5 and are generally played on large, open-world maps that have been populated with weapons and items that players must scavenge for. It was largely popularized by standalone battle royale games such as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite.


Shortly after the release of the 2012 Hunger Games movie, a plugin called "Survival Games" created by Double0Negative for Minecraft appeared.[1] This plugin allowed a server to create a full automated The Hunger Games-style experience where players would be deposited in the center of a map next to a number of equipment chests and forced to scavenge on the rest of the map while taking out other players. This proved to be wildly popular among Minecraft Let's Play YouTubers[2] with several more plugins appearing.

Around the same time as Survival Games was released, DayZ was released by Dean Hall as a mod for ARMA 2. While it was designed to promote an environment similar to current battle royale games, the map proved to be too expansive with too many survival elements to promote true battle royale gameplay. This lead to the creation of spin-off mods such as Survivor GameZ, which can be considered to be one of the first battle royale games, and a mod made by PlayerUnknown. PlayerUnknown was inspired by Battle Royale to create a looser version of Survivor GameZ where it would be individual rather than team-based.[3] This more or less lead to the creation of the entire battle royale genre.