Don’t expect Microsoft to make its own Battle Royale game. That’s according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who said on Twitter this week that he understands that while Battle Royale games like Fortnite and PUBG are massive, none of Microsoft’s studios will make their own. That is, unless they can come up with an interesting idea for how to make something compelling.
“Millions are playing [Battle Royale] games right now. I don’t want to just build one because others have built them,” he said. “[Fornite: Battle Royale] is massive, PUBG is huge, new [Battle Royale] variants being built by some very quality devs, I’d rather support unless we find something special in [first-party] that’s a different take.”
Millions are playing BR games right now. I don’t want to just build one because others have built them. FNBR is massive, PUBG is huge, new BR variants being built by some very quality devs, I’d rather support unless we find something special in 1P that’s a different take.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 29, 2018
Spencer’s comments seem to suggest that none of Microsoft’s studios will create a new, standalone Battle Royale game. But this leaves open the possibility for an exisiting Microsoft game to add a Battle Royale mode or for a new game, like Halo 6, to include one. Nothing is confirmed at this stage, it seems.
It makes sense that Microsoft wouldn’t be all that interested in making its own Battle Royale game given its exclusive partnership with the team behind PUBG. If Microsoft were to put out its own Battle Royale game, it would theoretically compete with PUBG, and that’s probably not something Microsoft wants to do.
Microsoft’s stance sounds similar to that of Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two. Take-Two president Strauss Zelnick said the success of Battle Royale games has been “really interesting” to see. However, he said that he wants his company’s labels–Rockstar Games and 2K Games–to blaze their own trail instead of being “derivative” by following in the footsteps of something that came before it. “Titles, even really good titles that are derivative, never seem to do as well as innovations that are unexpected,” Zelnick said at the time.
Electronic Arts has also weighed in on the Battle Royale phenomenon. CEO Andrew Wilson said in January that games like PUBG and Fortnite have changed how people think about shooter games. However, EA wants to make something new.
“Given that we have some of the best shooters in the marketplace, you might expect that we’re also thinking about new and innovative ways to play,” Wilson said. “And that doesn’t mean just kind of [making] PUBG replicas inside the Battlefield universe, but it does mean that our Battlefield teams–and I talked a little about this in the prepared remarks–are looking at how they innovate in every aspect of the game, including core gameplay and map design.”
In PUBG, Fortnite, and other Battle Royale games, players are dropped into an environment and compete until only one is left standing. It’s basically like The Hunger Games.
With E3 right around the corner, it will be interesting to see if any new Battle Royale games get announced or if existing games announce Battle Royale modes. E3 takes place in early June, so it won’t be long until we learn more.