This thesis examines two electronic games, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite, which rose to popularity as battle royale-style videogames, to question whether they are viable candidates for success as esports. In his 2018 Barrett Honors Thesis, Noah Hilliker developed a model for assessing electronic games as successful esports. His thesis, titled “Ambassador Communities, Hybrid Spectatorship, and Other Indicators of Success in eSports” applied his model of indicators of success to League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. In this thesis, I have applied his indicators to (PUBG) and Fortnite, which differ significantly from the games he previously analyzed, precisely as I argue here, because they are battle royale games. These indicators fall under three categories: the nature of fans, the overall design of the game and the relationship between game developers and fans. The data that was examined for this investigation included academic literature on esports, posts on online platforms, news articles, YouTube content and forums. The following indicators were analyzed in their application to the collected data for both games: self-organization, spectator-player hybridity, ambassadors, clear center of action, demonstration of skill, mechanical variance, game balance, character of fan/developer relationship and feedback to fans. Through this project, I apply a previous approach to analyzing esports success to two games, Fortnite and PUBG, in order to analyze how well the model fits battle royale-style games.
- Battle Royale Games as Esports: Where Fortnite and PUBG Land as Successful Esports
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