Battle Royale Bubbles: Extraction Shooters are the New Battle Royale Bubble
The PlayStation Showcase wasn’t too bad, was it? Alan Wake 2 is a great game, but the absence of physical copies makes it feel like AAA gaming has taken the next step in abandoning the physical medium.
Spider-Man 2, will be the biggest blockbuster of 2023. The showcase did seem to indicate that the next bubble will probably burst in the next couple of years, which is extraction shooters.
Extraction shooters, popularised by Escape From Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown, as well as perhaps Warzone 2.0’s DMZ Mode, are exactly what they sound like.
The players are sent into a loot-filled area, where they must try to escape as quickly as possible while avoiding death. There are usually PvE and PvP elements, as well as AI enemies to spice up the game. But the main rule of the game is to get as much loot out as you can while the other players try to do the exact same thing.
Due to the unpredictable and emergent nature of their PvP gameplay extraction shooters are a goldmine for Twitch streams and content creators who want to share memorable moments with the rest of the world.
Certain creators are able to turn uneasy alliances or funny voice-chat moments into viral videos. This in turn helps raise the profile of their game. No surprise that some developers want to capitalize on the trend and create their own version. But if you look at the PlayStation Showcase, it’s clear the genre has already reached critical mass.
Fairgame$, backed by Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios and Marathon were confirmed during the PlayStation Showcase. Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios is backing Fairgame$, while Bungie revives their older shooter series to give it another shot at relevancy.
Bungie’s revival of a long-lost IP and Jade Raymond’s clout in the gaming industry chasing after the dollar for extraction shooters is worth a look, but Fairgame$ & Marathon are not the only extract shooters available.
SEGA’s Hyenas seem to share a similar style and a lot of the same concepts as those two games. It combines a Gen Z-inspired “eat the rich”, a sci-fi premise, and the “get loot, get out” goal. Hyenas at least have the good grace to include a Sonic The Hedgehog cosplayer. Hyenas will be released on consoles along with its PC version, so it is hard to imagine how games such as Marathon and Fairgame$ could find a niche.
Other developers have also been rushing to produce their own extract shooters. Ubisoft is turning The Division Heartland, which they created years ago with The Division Dark Zone mode, into an extract shooter.
Ubisoft is known for stumbling into an amazing formula and then doing nothing about it for 6 years. The upcoming ARC Raiders appears to have also shifted from being a PvE co-op title into an extraction shooter. This puts it in competition with other unreleased games like Hawked or PC titles, such as Marauders Dark And Darker Deceive Inc or Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Mode, or The Cycle Frontier.