Games prominently featuring a battle royale mode are predicted to generate $20.1 billion in digital revenue in 2019, according to a SuperData report. Additionally, the battle royale genre is set to make up 12 percent of all digital games revenue this year at more than $12 billion.
Thanks to the popularity of H1Z1, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Fortnite, battle royale games have become bigger than ever before. AAA titles have even taken notice, with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield pledging to add battle royale modes into their high-profile games.
The boom of battle royale games can be attributed to its multi-platform appeal. Despite starting out on PC, H1Z1, PUBG, and Fortnite all have become hits on console. The latter pair have even extended into mobile to great success. Nearly a third of all digital revenue in the genre comes from mobile, according to SuperData.
Much of the revenue these games make—and this is especially true with a free-to-play game like Fortnite—comes from microtransactions. In-game items have proven to be extremely popular and fans have thrown their money at these skins, emotes, and other cosmetics. In May alone, Fortnite: Battle Royale generated $318 million, which broke the record for highest amount for a console game—a record Fortnite set the month before.
The games are not only making money for the developers, but the streamers who primarily play them are also benefiting. In May, 54 million unique viewers watched League of Legends, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Overwatch. The two biggest battle royale games totaled 42 million by themselves, however.
It’s evident that the genre has captured many gaming fans’ attention and money. And while there eventually could be something new that overtakes Fortnite and PUBG, for the time being, the battle royale games will continue to reign supreme.