Hi-Rez Studios’ free-to-play PC hero-shooter Paladins will be the next game to acquire a battle royale mode in the wake of the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Those who have played Paladins may view that as an inevitable next step for the game, given that it already combines Hearthstone-style card-battling gameplay (the big gaming trend from 2015) and Overwatch-style hero-shooting (which came to the fore in 2016). The new mode will even be called Paladins: Battlegrounds.
It will be intriguing to find out how well battle royale-style last-player-standing gameplay, as popularised by PUBG, will combine with team-based hero-shooter mechanics. And it will be just as interesting to find out how developer PUBG Corp reacts to Paladins’ move to muscle in on its territory.
When Epic Games pulled off a similar ploy by adding a battle royale mode to Fortnite, PUBG Corp executive Chang Han Kim accused it of “Replicating” PUBG’s gameplay and said PUBG Corp would “Contemplate further action.”
At the very least, Paladins will give gamers who love battle royale gameplay more choice. But the move is sure to provoke robust debate about games plagiarising their rivals.