We are officially in the battle royale era with titles like Fortnite at 125 million players strong and an increasing number of development teams vying for player share in the hottest genre in gaming. Essentially just a new game mode expanded from the tried and tested online arena shooter format titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Overwatch, even the biggest franchises in gaming have plans to enter the space. Last we week highlighted a lesser known survival-based battle royale title and today it’s time to take things up a notch.

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Clearly, developers are going to have to get creative if they want to tap into Fortnite’s player base. Franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield already have massive followings so they won’t have to do much other than introduce a new game and both have plans to do so. However, smaller development houses are starting to create cross-over battle royale titles like Project Darwin’s crafting and survival elements. Another title that was shown off under the radar at E3 looking to add its own spin to the popular genre is Mavericks Proving Grounds.

Mavericks Proving Grounds is a shooter-based battle royale game in development at Automaton. The 40-person team is looking to set itself apart with massive maps and an insanely large player count. While titles like Fortnite top out at 100-players per match, Mavericks will have 200 to 400 player skirmishes as well as 5-person teams competing in 1,000 player matches. We are also talking about 10 x 10 km maps in order to support the immense player count.

The shooting mechanics and basic gameplay loop will have to be up to par here, but that’s certainly one way to stand out. Automaton isn’t stopping there, there will be destructible environments similar to Rainbow Six: Siege. Other features include a full day/night cycle, interactive wildlife, what sounds like physics-based wildfires, and “realistic” footprints/blood trails left by other players.

But perhaps the most interesting part of all this is the MMORPG elements. The entire experience is centered around The Capital, a sort of town or lobby that acts as the game’s main hub. It sounds like there will be lore and story elements to experience here as well shops and ways to upgrade your gear before jumping into matches. It will apparently be part of a persistent open world, according to the developers, but we don’t know much about it beyond that.

Automaton has some pretty fancy tech in place here that makes this whole thing possible, but the game is still in development. We are expecting a beta to go live in August followed by the 1,000 person matches and MMO bits to hit in 2019. Until then, we will certainly keep an eye on Mavericks Proving Grounds and suggest you do as well.

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