Since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale graced the scene, it seems that every developer and his dog wants in on the genre. That is, every developer apart from Microsoft’s first-party studios, which will only take on the challenge if they have something new to offer the genre.
It’s difficult for studios not to have dollar signs in their eyes when seeing the numbers that both titles are pulling in, from the millions upon millions of players to Fortnite making $15 million solely from its iOS version in the first month of release. Still, Xbox boss Phil Spencer would rather support “quality devs” willing to take on the monumental competition rather than tasking a first-party studio it seems.
Millions are playing BR games right now. I don't want to just build one because others have built them. FNBR is massive, PUBG is huge, new BR variants being built by some very quality devs, I'd rather support unless we find something special in 1P that's a different take.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 29, 2018
Microsoft already has an exclusive deal with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to appear on the Xbox One, while Sony’s PlayStation 4 has to settle with Fortnite: Battle Royale, which managed to beat its rival to both consoles before any deal was struck.
Despite PUBG undoubtedly making Microsoft a lot of money, Spencer is keen not to close the door entirely on the prospect, stating that first-party studios would have the option provided that it offers a “different take.”
In the meantime, it’s more than likely that the battle royale genre will creep in as another mode rather than the core focus of gameplay, much like reports have stated for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, in which Treyarch is said to forgo a single-player campaign in favour of the mode.
KitGuru Says: I’m not sure which game would benefit from a battle royale mode the most, if any, be it Gears of War, Halo or something else entirely. As for a “different take,” I propose a Forza Battle Royale that betters H1Z1’s Car-Battle Mode. What would you like to see from Microsoft’s first-party studios?