Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty … look closely and these games’ virtual battlefields have much in common. The people who created them explain why

A group of people drop on to a large island. For the next 20 minutes they must search buildings for useful weapons and equipment, before fighting to the death. As the match progresses, the playable area contracts, forcing the competitors closer together. The last person standing wins.

This is of course battle royale, a new type of online shooting game currently being enjoyed by over 200 million people across the globe. The current craze started with Day Z: Battle Royale, a modification of the zombie survival game DayZ developed by lone designer Brendan Greene, later updated as Player Unknown’s Battle Royale. Its popularity caught the attention of Korean developer Bluehole, who employed Greene to oversee development of a full game. PUBG was launched as a beta in early 2017 and by December, it had 30 million players.

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