Wait, what? You mean… Hyper Scape is still going?
Traditionally, there are two tried-and-tested ways to bring a product to market. Either:
- You develop something completely new and get in there first, or
- You iterate or improve something that already exists, in a way that people can’t resist.
In the case of battle royale video games, most companies are doing neither, but still releasing them all the same.
The ARMA 3 battle royale mod, from Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene, was the original prototype, then PUBG was his actual product. Then Fortnite Battle Royale added building mechanics and marketed it to kids, which was sort of an iteration, we guess? (Though not necessarily a positive one.)
You could argue that, since then, we haven’t actually needed any more battle royale games. Apex Legends is popular because it features slick movement and hero-shooter character classes, so that one almost justifies its existence. Call of Duty: Warzone is the battle royale game for the “lads” who don’t play anything but Call of Duty and FIFA, so there’s at least a market for it, if not a need.
Oh. And Fall Guys is not technically a battle royale, but it’s like if you took the concept to a soft play centre. That one’s genuinely interesting and far more appropriate for your kids than Fortnite’s tween murder fest.
But every other battle royale game has been entirely surplus to requirements, without exception. Case in point: Hyper Scape, from Ubisoft.
“What’s Hyper Scape?” You ask, which sort of proves the point. It also probably explains why Hyper Scape is shutting down its servers in a few months.
“We have made the difficult decision to end development of Hyper Scape and shut the game down as of April 28th,” writes Ubisoft in a blog post on its website. “We set out to create a vertical, close-quarters, and fast-paced shooter experience and we are extremely grateful to our community for joining us on our journey. We will be taking key learnings from this game into future products.”
So, in a nutshell, Ubisoft tried to make yet another battle royale and thought “neon aesthetic” and “tall maps” would be a unique selling point for Hyper Scape. How wrong that turned out. (Maybe if they’d paid more attention to Cliff Bleszinski’s LawBreakers/Radical Heights misadventure, that error could have been avoided?)
Anyway, it doesn’t matter now. Hyper Scape is shutting down on April 28, 2022, another cursory footnote in the saturated ledger of battle royale video games.