Studio director of the legendary developer id Software, Tim Willits recently commented how battle royale is nothing new and that Quake already had a similar concept through community mods, before adding that copying others gets you nowhere.
Granted, Quake's last player standing mode was on a much smaller scale, featuring only four players, but the fundamental concept is there - more than one player duke it out on a map, aiming to be the last one alive. "You say that every great video game idea can be found in a 10-year-old's toy box", he said and added that battle royale is no different.
Of course, battle royale genre has since grown to encompass much more than Quake's mods could've provided, which is where Brendan Greene and Arma II's modding capabilities came in. Epic and Fortnite took it to a new level, setting the bar so high than Greene and Co can barely see it up there.
As you'd expect, Willits was asked whether id Software are thinking about dipping their toes into battle royale waters, a notion that he pretty much killed on the spot. In his mind, a developer should watch out not to be chasing trends too much, because it can actually be dangerous.
"If you just copy fun game modes from other games, you'll always be too late", Willits said and added that this is the approach id Software take. He did point out that listening to your fanbase is important and Quake Champions' community is apparently the sole reason behind the addition of Capture the Flag mode, but battle royale is another matter.
That being said, it's quite peculiar hearing id Software talk about not chasing trends, especially since Quake Champions did just that by copying the co-op shooter formula from the usual suspects whom we'll not name here. Heck, they arguably arrived late at the party too, because co-op shooters were surely nothing new.
We'd probably agree with Willits when it comes to the gaming side of things, since battle royale has been quite a saturated playground lately. On the business side of things though, a party worth $12.6 billion in 2018 and $20.1 billion in 2019 seems like one worth arriving to, even late.
You can find the full interview here.