The developer of Smite and Paladins, Hi-Rez Studios, recently entered the battle royale sphere with its own entry. Realm Royale went into early access on June 6, and while it’s early days, it’s doing ok, with a peak player count of upwards of 100,000, which is pretty impressive in a very busy genre.
If you’re able to cast your mind all the way back to the start of the year, you might remember that Hi-Rez first announced its new game under the name Paladins: Battlegrounds. Back then, the game was just a mode for the development team’s hero shooter, Paladins: Champions of the Realm. But, since then, both the name and the overall attachment to Paladins, have been changed.
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In an interview with PCGN, the game’s executive producer, Rory ‘Drybear’ Newbrough, told us that the link to Paladins needed to be removed because “it never really hit the vibe that we were looking for, it wasn’t all the way there.”
Newbrough says that “we couldn’t find a way to make it fit the way we wanted,” and that the new mode gave the sense that “it was too different from Paladins,” causing the playerbase to fracture as those who wanted to play Paladins remained with the game, and those who wanted to play a battle royale turned to Battlegrounds.
To avoid that fragmentation, Hi-Rez decided that Realm Royale needed to be its own game – “eventually we found a class system that’s inspired by Paladins, but it still feels true to the battle royale genre.”
We gave Realm Royale a go last week when it launched (if you fancy following suit, make sure to check out our Realm Royale tips guide). While it’s not going to be a challenger to Fortnite any time soon, it’s got some ideas of its own that make for some action-packed gameplay.