Can we now agree that PUBG is one of the most influential games ever?

Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#1


I've been saying this for a long time: PUBG is easily one of the most influential games ever. Given the speed it got "copied", the popularity of its "clones" and the amount of players on it, it's probably up there with the likes of Doom and GTA3. In many ways ahead, as there's possibly hundreds of millions (!) of different players per month playing battle royale games, whereas before this game it was a couple millions at best - and all this happened in less than 2 years. Yes, I'm fully aware that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (abbreviated as PUBG) did not invent the Battle Royale concept, nor the game genre. The mere fact it takes name from a 20 years old book and the fact there have been standalone games and mods before it exploring that concept is telling. But without PUBG's insane success, many other products would outright not exist, or be completely different. Not only PUBG + PUBG Mobile, summed up, have of the largest playerbases in the world, its tremendous success spawned, among other things...



- The game being ported to Xbox One, PS4 and mobile: on the latter it's essentially a different game altogether to be fair.
- Tons of mobile clones, including Knives Out, which has like 50m+ monthly players or something and was the most profitable mobile Battle Royale game for 2018, or the Crossfire spin-off Crossfire Legends which is pretty big in Asia, not to mention the popular Call Of Duty-esque FPS series Modern Combat also adding a Battle Royale mode not long ago.
- Epic Games threw all their other projects to focus Fortnite's own insanely popular Battle Royale, which also became a mainstream phenomenon with all kinds of cross-promotions like the one with Thanos or the Marshmello in-game concert.
- Activision added Battle Royale to Call Of Duty, one of the biggest franchises in the world. We're talking about Blackout, which is quite successful.
- Electronic Arts is adding Battle Royale to Battlefield, another huge FPS franchise.
- Electronic Arts also made a Titanfall spin-off in Battle Royale form last week, one that was played by dozens of millions of players already. Apex Legends is the name of course.
- Take Two who are already swimming in money between GTAV and Red Dead Redemption 2, added a Battle Royale game mode to both. A car-based on for the former and a "proper" one for the latter.
- Nintendo just released a Battle Royale for... Tetris. Yeah. Tetris 99 is on the eShop as we speak.
- Valve made a Battle Royale mode for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
- Hi-Rez Studios made a Battle Royale spin-off for their popular fantasy hero shooter, Paladins, called Realm Royale.
- Boss Key Productions by CliffyB tried their shot at Battle Royale too after the Lawbreakers flop called Radical Heights. It initially had solid numbers but it died off rather quick.
- Daybreak is making a Battle Royale spin-off for their popular FPS Planetside, named Planetside Arena.
- Xaviant, who were already rather popular before PUBG with their Hunter Games-esque Battle Royale named The Culling, tried to copy off PUBG to release a sequel. It didn't go well, so much they actually went back to supporting the first game, cancelling the sequel and refunding buyers.
- There have been multiple smaller studios releasing rather popular spins at the genre: these games include Ring of Elysium, Rules of Survival and Darwin Project.
- The insanely popular Flash game Agar.io has an unofficial spin-off of sorts in the form of Surviv.io, taking a lot of elements from PUBG to make a top-down Battle Royale.
- Could we leave VR out of this? Of course not, as there's games like Pavlov VR bringing the Battle Royale to the virtual reality.
- Not to mention all the ironic takes on the genre like Totally Accurate Battlegrounds and Cuisine Royale.
- And of course, PUBG's numbers helped games like H1Z1 and DayZ, released earlier, gain better player numbers as the genre became a mainstream phenomena.


(Tetris 99)

Now, of course, influential games do that: influence other games. Halo's multiplayer changed the way console multiplayer worked forever. To a lesser extent, Dark Souls influenced a lot of games lately. Doom reinvented how FPS games should be done and was copied off by a billion other games, many being inspired by it to this day. We have Super Mario 64 that practically defined 3D platforming. Grand Theft Auto 3 that practically invented the modern open world gaming. Minecraft had a massive influence on indie gaming to come and how procedural generation has been treated since. Certain mobile games like Candy Crush or FarmVille made a huge population of mobile gamers addicted and spawned countless clones in the process. What is common among all these games is that neither of these invented a genre: it's just that they've made such important changes to the formula and became such so popular that they inevitably inspired what came next, instead of everyone taking cues from what came before. In this particular case, none of the above would have happened without PUBG's tremendous success. Yes, you can say that game wouldn't have happened without other games and mods first, but those projects weren't the ones to convince the likes of Epic Games, Electronic Arts or Activision to do something: that was PUBG, and by extension Fortnite at a second date. And while Fortnite's F2P model and success pushed a lot of devs to follow a similar monetization route, most of the "big" Battle Royale games are actually taking cues from PUBG rather than Fortnite, having proning, the attachments, similar inventory systems and the like.


(Call Of Duty: Black Ops IIII, Blackout)

What is particularly stunning, to me, is how fast it all happened. Let's not forget that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was first published on Early Access less than 2 years ago, in March 2017. Developers expected to sell like half a million copies. It sold dozens of millions of copies in a couple months, having millions of players at the same time, smashing all kinds of Steam records in the process. This before going to consoles and mobile, too. In an era of game development become more and more lengthy and expensive, in less than two years the likes of Epic Games, Activision, Electronic Arts, Valve, Nintendo and Take Two already released their answer to the phenomena. In fact, it's almost surprising others like Ubisoft (with Ghost Recon, perhaps) or Microsoft (with Halo) haven't done it yet. It may be a trend or possibly even a fad (though it seems less and less likely as time goes on), but it's hard to think of many games that influenced so many publishers, from indie all the way to the triple-A ones, especially in such a short timeframe - as said, in an era where making competent games is longer and more expensive than ever.


(Realm Royale)

Love or hate the genre, PUBG defined these past two years of gaming, and will have a crucial role in how gaming (be that PC, console or mobile) will continue in the next years. With tens of millions of players daily on PUBG alone and who knows how many more on its many clones, it's a gaming behemoth like few others that, for better or worse, inspired tons of other developers and publishers to try and do the same. There's a lot of things that the devs and the publisher could have done differently in regards of monetization, the fight against cheaters and toxic people, optimization, ports, and whatnot. With many games doing the formula in a more polished manner, I moved on from PUBG a while ago, as other games like Fortnite BR, Call Of Duty's Blackout and Apex Legends stole my attention. And just today I've been having my share of fun with the unlikely yet great Tetris 99. But none of these products would exist without PUBG, and given how many players are on these games, that alone easily makes PUBG one of the most influential games ever.

 
Oct 25, 2017
533
London
#2
You could say that the arma 3/dayZ battle royale mod was the start followed by h1z1 but no doubt PubG was the one that made the game type to next level heights for sure
 
Oct 27, 2017
498
#3
You have the right answer in the middle of your post.
One of the most influential games of all time, that has been copied again and again for the several decades is Tetris.

PUBG though, it's one of the most influential in recent memory. Of all time? I doubt it.
You would have to give it a bit more time.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,892
#4
wouldn't argue it's the most influential this gen, but as for "most influential ever" we'll see. in a few years BR may be as hype as Angry Birds or Farmville in 2019
 
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OP
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#5
You have the right answer in the middle of your post.
One of the most influential games of all time, that has been copied again and again for the several decades is Tetris.

PUBG though, it's one of the most influential in recent memory. Of all time? I doubt it.
You would have to give it a bit more time.
Tetris is one of them too, of course. I didn't make it an absolute for a reason.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,020
#6
I agree. Too soon to say how influential it is though. There have been some crazy popular games that created genres which just fell into the wayside.
 
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#9
I agree. Too soon to say how influential it is though. There have been some crazy popular games that created genres which just fell into the wayside.
I do think that PUBG (and by extension Fortnite) are definitely going to stay relevant and influential in many ways. First of all, we're talking hundreds of millions of players spread over tons of different games. And most importantly, their monetization schemes, their player engagement techniques, their core gameplay elements are things that are inspiring games both in the BR scene and outside of it. The consequences of PUBG won't disappear for a long time, even if BR games lost like 99% of their population. Which seems unlikely at this point.
 
Nov 2, 2017
571
#10
I guess it popularized a new genre which made publishers want to have a piece of. Sure its influential.

But what would be the long term influence will it have? What aspect of it will have its fingerprints on games 10 years from now. For the moment, the genre it popularized just feels like the current flavor every one wants to be a part of.

I see people moving on from battle royale when the next big thing hits. Will we still have battle royale games in the next decade?

I see other games from the last generation which gameplay elements will still be a part of future games. I won't mention them here to derail the thread though.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,396
#13
It's pretty clear that 1vs100 was the inspiration for Battle Royale.

I broadly agree with the OP. PUBG is probably my fourth favourite Battle Royale game at this point, but it was the one that proved it could work. It would have happened at some point anyway, but it is undoubtedly PUBG that we have to thank for Apex and Fortnite being games in 2019.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
498
#14
Tetris is one of them too, of course. I didn't make it an absolute for a reason.
I was using tetris as an example. Because PUBG is missing at least one characteristic that Tetris has; to have several generations playing it.
PUBG is way too recent. It just started transitioning from fad to mainstay.
 
Oct 22, 2018
809
#15
Inb4 "H1Z1/DayZ was first".
That's not the point. Point is PUBG huge success is what influenced other developers to put the mode in their games , not the older games. They have credit for poularizing the genre.

In other words, Pubg is to H1Z1 as GTA 3 is to Driver, and Gears is to Kill Switch.
 
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#16
I was using tetris as an example. Because PUBG is missing at least one characteristic that Tetris has; to have several generations playing it.
PUBG is way too recent. It just started transitioning from fad to mainstay.
I think I explained it in the OP. In less than two years, nearly all big publishers made their "PUBG clone", not to mention all the indies and medium-sized studios. Not many games spawned so many copies in such a quick timeframe, and even if we take mobile out of the equation, not many games had clones gaining dozens of millions of players so quick either. The only somewhat recent example (since we can only really compare it to the Internet era) is probably DOTA - and even then, a lot of the big names like Activision or EA didn't bother with it, unlike now. Of course these are shooters, so they were by definition closer to some of their products.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,391
#20
I'd say this whole genre discourse started around DayZ then it morphed into what PUBG is over time.
I think you'll find the the "most influential" games are rarely the original of a trend. They merely take what worked before and made it better/more accessible.

Another clear example is Dark Souls. Essentially Demon's Souls remade without an unsupportive Sony, FROM took the concept, reworked it, made it open world, and released it on a second console, and then later on PC, which port on its own was also one of the most influential ports of all time, demonstrating how truly viable Japanese games could be on PC. Funny it was a rather...substandard port, and who knows if it would have had near as much success and influence had it not been for Durante's patch.

Demon's Souls didn't do this influencing except by second hand. This doesn't mean it is or isn't the better game, nor does it mean it wasn't essential. But back to the original point, again, the game that does the influencing is so rarely the first entry into that space.

An example where the new and original departure was itself influential I would probably point to Half-life. Having recently read and watched a great youtube documentary about Half-Life's origins, it really doesn't seem like there was a proper proto-Half-life for elitists to pop in and say they loved beforehand. No work is without its inspirations of course, but I think this is closer to an example of the original being the influencer, and not a more widely loved protege.
 
OP
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#21
I was using tetris as an example. Because PUBG is missing at least one characteristic that Tetris has; to have several generations playing it.
PUBG is way too recent. It just started transitioning from fad to mainstay.
I think a game can be influential even if it's a relatively short-lived influence. And well, there's hundreds of millions of players right now in battle royale games now, and that isn't going to suddenly disappear. You may not hear a lot about Candy Crush, Minecraft or Roblox anymore, but they still have a ludicrous amount of players to this day, and many more in their many clones too. You could not have a single PUBG thread here for 12 months or no major streamer on it anymore, but with so many players it's not going to fade anytime soon.
 
Oct 27, 2017
498
#22
I think I explained it in the OP. In less than two years, nearly all big publishers made their "PUBG clone", not to mention all the indies and medium-sized studios. Not many games spawned so many copies in such a quick timeframe, and even if we take mobile out of the equation, not many games had clones gaining dozens of millions of players so quick either. The only somewhat recent example (since we can only really compare it to the Internet era) is probably DOTA.
Sure, on that logic, angry birds is also influential. And dead.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,758
#23
Inb4 "H1Z1/DayZ was first".
That's not the point. Point is PUBG huge success is what influenced other developers to put the mode in their games , not the older games. They have credit for poularizing the genre.

In other words, Pubg is to H1Z1 as GTA 3 is to Driver, and Gears is to Kill Switch.
Bluehole did literally what SOE/Daybreak did, but better. H1Z1 was also incredibly popular, it just got blown out the water. H1Z1 was a very important step to getting to PUBG.
 

Dojima

Banned
Member
Jan 25, 2019
1,097
#23
You could say that the arma 3/dayZ battle royale mod was the start followed by h1z1 but no doubt PubG was the one that made the game type to next level heights for sure
Came to say this. PUBG definitely took it to next level. IIRC Greene is the one who made Arma 2 BR mode/DayZ BR too. So I’d say Greene is the one that made BR blow up
 
OP
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#24
Sure, on that logic, angry birds is also influential. And dead.
Dead in our gaming discourses. There's still plenty of players on such games. Only 3 years ago there was a movie based on it that cashed in hundreds of millions of dollars. Merchandising still doing good. In the grand scheme of things, there aren't that many people currently playing a Metal Gear Solid game, nor its merchandising is doing billions per year. But it's influential as hell, no doubts about that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
670
#25
Saying "one of" is kind of a crappy disclaimer, one of how many, exactly?

It did popularize the biggest genre on the planet right now, so in that respect at least, sure.

At least given the specifics of the genre today (encroaching circle, dropping int othe map from above), but last man standing has been around since forever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,391
#26
Bluehole did literally what SOE/Daybreak did, but better. H1Z1 was also incredibly popular, it just got blown out the water.
Exactly, except where H1Z1's popularity faded, PUBG brought it to the mainstream, thus becoming the game that influenced those around it.
 
Dec 29, 2017
237
#27
I guess it popularized the genre. Just like with the iPad was not the first tablet, but nobody gave a shit about them before apple did it properly.
 
OP
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#28
Saying "one of" is kind of a crappy disclaimer, one of how many, exactly?

It did popularize the biggest genre on the planet right now, so in that respect at least, sure.

At least given the specifics of the genre today, last man standing has been around since forever.
Well, definitely top 10-20 at least. Hard to quantify exactly. Clearly I wasn't thinking top 10000.

And well, as I explained in the OP, the concept behind the game isn't new. It evolved the concept in such a way that suddenly interests hundreds of millions of players, whereas the "one life" game modes in the past only attracted so much. Counter-Strike was and is big, for example, but is rather small compared to all the BR games combined (obviously).
 
Feb 10, 2018
7,678
#30
I prefer the mobile version of PUBG over console because it's 60fps and I can actually win in it lol.

But yes op, it was the first battle royale game and easily in the top 10 most influential games of all time.
 
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Oct 31, 2017
118
#31
Did you really spell IV as IIII? You need to learn your roman numerals. May come in handy if you ever get stuck in a den of lions.

Edit: Nvm, that's how the game spells it.
 
Oct 24, 2018
118
#32
I think it will have to share its legacy with Fortnite, which copied many ideas from PUBG but is more of a cultural phenomenon.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,396
#33
Did you really spell IV as IIII? You need to learn your roman numerals. May come in handy if you ever get stuck in a den of lions.
That's the game's name.

Also, while IIII is less common as the roman numeral for 4, it's still valid and does have some contemporary use.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,758
#34
Exactly, except where H1Z1's popularity faded, PUBG brought it to the mainstream, thus becoming the game that influenced those around it.
Using that logic, it's now Fortnite that should be getting the credit, as it's what people are going for now, even PUBG changed things due to it. Again it's not like H1Z1 wasn't very popular.
 
OP
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#35
it's not the first game that created a trend/genre, so depends on how limited and exclusive that "ever" is
It's however pretty rare, even discounting mobile, to have a game influence so many publishers and developers in such a short timeframe. On consoles and PC alone there's like dozens of millions of players playing battle royale on a daily basis. The fact that most of these games wouldn't even exist without PUBG's popularity (as Electronic Arts, Activision, etc. would have not bothered otherwise) is testament to my point. In many ways, in the days of insanely weak hardware, a lot of games were more influential. First game with more than one scheme. First actual sidescroller game. First "fake" 3D perspective game. First actual 3D graphics. Those obviously inspired literally every game since, but given where the tech currently is, it's just not possible for games nowadays to be THAT influential, as game design and tech evolved more than a lot already. But in terms of modern gaming, PUBG is definitely one of the biggest influencer of trends, gamer interest and clones.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,562
The Ocean
#36
It's pretty clear that 1vs100 was the inspiration for Battle Royale.

I broadly agree with the OP. PUBG is probably my fourth favourite Battle Royale game at this point, but it was the one that proved it could work. It would have happened at some point anyway, but it is undoubtedly PUBG that we have to thank for Apex and Fortnite being games in 2019.
Game wise, sure but it’s almost literally an adaptation of the film version of Battle Royale, right down to the weaponry used. Frying pans etc
 
OP
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FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#37
Using that logic, it's now Fortnite that should be getting the credit, as it's what people are going for, even PUBG changed things due to it.
Fortnite gets credit too in my lengthy OP. But Fortnite was directly inspired by PUBG, and basically all big Battle Royale games out there (with the exception of Realm Royale) are more based on PUBG than Fortnite, given their artistic style, their shooting, the gameplay, etc.. Blackout, Firestorm, Knives Out, Apex Legends, Ring Of Elysium, etc. definitely have a lot more in common with PUBG than Fortnite.
 
Feb 10, 2018
7,678
#39
It's pretty clear that 1vs100 was the inspiration for Battle Royale.

I broadly agree with the OP. PUBG is probably my fourth favourite Battle Royale game at this point, but it was the one that proved it could work. It would have happened at some point anyway, but it is undoubtedly PUBG that we have to thank for Apex and Fortnite being games in 2019.
I thought it was this

 
OP
OP
FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#40
It's pretty clear that 1vs100 was the inspiration for Battle Royale.

I broadly agree with the OP. PUBG is probably my fourth favourite Battle Royale game at this point, but it was the one that proved it could work. It would have happened at some point anyway, but it is undoubtedly PUBG that we have to thank for Apex and Fortnite being games in 2019.
Funnily enough, it's also currently my fourth, too. It would probably be 2nd or 3rd if it wasn't as janky, and while I never loved Fortnite's gameplay too much (not a fan of the building spam and the shooting isn't good), it overtook PUBG for me due to the sheer polish and variety it had. And now that I'm currently addicted to Apex and having a lot of fun with Tetris 99, it's impossible to forget these wouldn't have existed without PUBG.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,656
#42
I don't know about its influence but its success definitely bothered a lot of people for whatever reason. I don't know how often this game was wished to be dead and still it survives with an impressive active user base.
Btw, did we ever get numbers about its popularity on PS4 besides anecdotal references and people moaning about timed exclusivity that might hurt the port?
 
Oct 27, 2017
498
#44
Dead in our gaming discourses. There's still plenty of players on such games. Only 3 years ago there was a movie based on it that cashed in hundreds of millions of dollars. Merchandising still doing good. In the grand scheme of things, there aren't that many people currently playing a Metal Gear Solid game, nor its merchandising is doing billions per year. But it's influential as hell, no doubts about that.
Then it's pointless to discuss. Since the list doesn't exist and how games get on it varies.
Either the list is huge and the title becomes meaningless, or there must be more than money behind what we define as influence in this case.

MGS1 might not be making money, but i bet there's people right now on twitch speed running that game. Or playing the digital title on consoles.
In 15 years, if somebody picks up mgs1, they will still see why it was culturally influential.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,758
#45
Fortnite gets credit too in my lengthy OP. But Fortnite was directly inspired by PUBG, and basically all big Battle Royale games out there (with the exception of Realm Royale) are more based on PUBG than Fortnite, given their artistic style, their shooting, the gameplay, etc.. Blackout, Firestorm, Knives Out, Apex Legends, Ring Of Elysium, etc. definitely have a lot more in common with PUBG than Fortnite.
PUBG was directly inspired by H1Z1 (far more so than Fortnite is by PUBG) is my point. Why is the line drawn there. Because PUBG eventually blew H1Z1 out the water. I guess that's kinda SOE's history. Everquest, H1Z1 both heavily inspired what would be titans and make their game more of a footnote, despite their popularity and success.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,391
#47
Using that logic, it's now Fortnite that should be getting the credit, as it's what people are going for now, even PUBG changed things due to it. Again it's not like H1Z1 wasn't very popular.
I think both PUBG and Fortnite were both huge, as PUBG I think spawned not just Fortnite but Apex as well, then leading to Tetris. Fortnite has taken the mantel as most popular for a while now, but PUBG is still relevant, and I think is what brought it to mainstream. H1Z1 was never really mainstream in that sense I feel. I certainly never heard of it, outside of a couple streams and youtube videos. It was PUBG when suddenly I could not ignore it, and when investors and large companies took notice. Since those are the people who have the power to make influenced games happen, I think that's when the "influence" really begins to matter.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,295
#48
It elevated the genre, it did not inspire it. Its design and concept was firmly rooted in games that came before it, but it was the spark that lit the flame.
 
OP
OP
FairyEmpire
Oct 25, 2017
9,760
#50
PUBG was directly inspired by H1Z1 is my point. Why is the line drawn there. Because PUBG eventually blew H1Z1 out the water. I guess that's kinda SOE's history. Everquest, H1Z1 both heavily inspired what would be titans and make their game more of a footnote, despite their popularity and success.
Well, gaming is evolution, that's why. Half-Life didn't invent FPS. Dark Souls didn't invent the soulslike formula. Metal Gear Solid was not the first third person game of the sort, neither was Tomb Raider. But despite these games taking cues from prior products, they became mainstream phenomena, and they were the ones who started inspiring future games. FPS games today aren't looking at Wolfenstein 3D thinking "that's what we wanna do, yeah". Devs who tried Battle Royale for the first time seeing the insane success of PUBG and Fortnite looked at those games to try and replicate the formula, they really didn't need to look up all the Minecraft mods or read the Battle Royale book by Koushun Takami to get the origins of it.