The battle royale genre is a cut-throat business, and its latest victim appears to be Hi-Rez Studio's Realm Royale.
The game was released on Steam in early access on 5th June, and despite attention from high-profile streamers such as Ninja it has failed to retain public interest. According to stats on Steamdb (via GitHyp), the game has lost 94 per cent of its player base in only two months. Peaking at 105,440 players on June 10th, the number yesterday slipped to a mere 5561.
Realm Royale began life as a game mode in Hi-Rez's (more successful) hero-shooter Paladins. Realm Royale differs from other battle royales in a few ways: there are five different character classes, there's a crafting system, and players transform into chickens when killed. Yet even this gimmick has failed to prevent players from flying the coop.
Only a few days ago, Hi-Rez announced it is splitting its development resources into three separate studios for each of its major games. A new studio, called Heroic Leap Games, is now in charge of Realm Royale. You have to wonder whether Realm Royale's faltering player base is partly the reason for the change.
The question now is whether Heroic Leap Games can reverse Realm Royale's slide into obscurity. With more big competitors such as Call of Duty about to enter the battle royale market, will Realm Royale end up costing Hi-Rez a princely sum?