Community Questions: What's the Best Battle Royale Game?

Each week we tap into the collective knowledge of the Tom's Hardware community to find the answers to our most pressing questions. This week we want to know what's the best battle royale game.

Epic Games announced the details of its Fortnite World Cup, and the numbers are massive. With a competitive prize pool of $100,000,000, Fortnite is gearing up to take esports to a whole new level. The Fortnite World Cup announcement is capping off another winning month for Epic Games’ quintessential Battle Royale. Epic recently confirmed with Variety Magazine that 10.7 million concurrent players watched the in-game Marshmello concert. Fortnite saw another 7.6 million players concurrently on Saturday, February 16th, the largest number of concurrent players during non-event times. Fortnite is a game of millions and a force to be reckoned with, not just in esports, but for the entertainment industry writ large.

To put those numbers in perspective, I took a look at some other enormous competitive events, namely the World Cup and the Super Bowl. According to FIFA, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa “was shown in every single country and territory on Earth” and was beamed to TVs across the globe, reaching “over 3.2 billion people around the world or 46.4 percent of the global population.” While impressive, keep in mind that those numbers are “based on viewers watching a minimum of one minute of coverage.” There were 2.2 billion viewers that watched 20 consecutive minutes of coverage, which is still a bonkers number of people. The Fortnite numbers pale in comparison there, but how about when compared to a more regional event, like say the Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl hit its peak in 2015 with over 114 million viewers. Since then its viewership has been on the decline, decreasing by 3-5% each year. Last year 98.2 million people watched the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Clearly, Fortnite is no Super Bowl or World Cup, but still its numbers are mighty impressive. Accounting for broadband penetration in the US adds further perspective to these numbers. In 2017 there were roughly 110 million households with a broadband subscription. This means that Fortnite was playing in the equivalent of roughly a tenth of all broadband-equipped US american households during the Marshmello concert event. Of course, Fortnite’s audience is global, and the Super Bowl plays on pretty much every TV in the US, so this is more an apples to oranges comparison, but still it's interesting to ponder.

While Fortnite may be the biggest Battle Royale game, is it the best? That's of course up to subjective opinion. I myself am not an avid Royale player, but I hear Apex Legends is a new comer that may give Fortnite a run for its money. And let’s not forget the OG PUBG, the game that started the genre--way back in March of 2017.

And so, dear readers we pose this question for you to discuss over the weekend. What’s the best battle royale game? Let us know what you think in the Tom’s Hardware Forums.