S.O.S. ditches survival mechanics to become a full-on battle royale game

    
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What’s that sound? It’s the sound of a genre becoming even more saturated, that’s what, as SOS is converting into a battle royale game called (drumroll) SOS: Battle Royale.

The original idea behind the game was to toss 16 players into a map and have them play a 30-minute match to find a relic and escape in a helicopter, with up to three winners per match and the chance to coordinate via voice chat. There were plenty of survival mechanics along the way, including making your own weapons and traps to survive. And a la Running Man, the streaming audience would be pushing buttons too.

Yesterday, Outpost Games announced massive changes to the early access survival game, to the point that it’s now a battle royale game, not a survival game at all – in fact, it appears the survival elements have been stripped out entirely, and you’ll just be looting things like weapons from the island.

“You thought you were signing up for a reality TV show, but the network has decided it would be much more entertaining for their audience to watch you fight to the death instead,” the studio says. “You already signed the contract, so you really don’t have much choice. If you want to live, you’ll have to be the last one standing.”

“In Content Drop 3, we’ve made some significant changes to La Cuna to streamline the process for new players to join the game. Each match will be a rapid, high-intensity 10 minute battle, have 32 players, and only 1 survivor. To begin your new journey on La Cuna Island, you’ll drop on to the Island where you are 1 of 32 players who must fight to the death. Along with your wits, you will have to equip yourself with various weapons found on the island. Guns are certainly an option, but melee weapons are just as deadly. Keep your eyes open for footprints and other indicators that will help you stalk your enemies.”

Massively OP’s MJ streamed the earlier version of the game; we’ll get the new version on tap once the anguished screaming dies down.

Source: SOS. Thanks, Kinya!
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creepywhistle
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creepywhistle

The first link comes up as 404 already. They changed their website and erased all news about the game from just 7 days ago and beyond. Trying hard to erase the fact survival mode ever existed. The news is still preserved on Steam, though.

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Danny Smith

Battle Royale, the new “we have given up” genre for developers who want to say ‘ah, fuck it’ mid development.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

More games doing pure Battle Royale conversions? Is it April Fools? No? This stuff is really happening? Sigh…

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Sorenthaz

It’s a pathetic shame because what isn’t mentioned in this blurb is that the game was great for RP shenanigans. The game’s strong suit was when folks roleplayed, and the game had systems designed around such, i.e. “crowd favorite” awards, a popularity rating, and the intro/outro segments. They had a pretty clever streaming site that integrated Twitch.tv but added some extra twists and bits to it, and viewers could watch through it and vote on airdrops and such. That obviously needed some balancing due to high viewer streamers getting votes more in their favor and such, but instead of bothering with that the devs decided to just dump on the original game that they had spent years working on in order to go for a Battle Royale mode?

It’s hilarious because they tried to sound super confident two and a half months ago or so. They said the game would get through to launch just fine, they weren’t worried if reception was bad initially, etc. But then they decided to drop this bomb on the game and kill off the community that built around it? Yeah, screw them. SOS was a unique game that could’ve been something special, but instead they decided to turn it into another Culling.

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Sorenthaz

In other words they killed their game and pulled a massive bait-and-switch on folks who paid upwards of… what, $100? on Founder packs.

I wonder if that counts as deceitful marketing to present the game as one thing and then suddenly change it while basically saying: “hah, sucks for you guys, thanks for your money though!”

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Tizmah

Haha, it never ceases to amaze me that game companies never learn. This goes all the way back to the 80s when arcade games fell into the trend of everything being about space shooters. Then Miyamoto comes along with a well made game called “Donkey Kong” and blows everything out of the water.

But no, lets make a game or make changes to our game to grab a piece of that trendy pie, when there is only slim pickings left.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I wasn’t entirely sold on the whole competitive survival aspect of this game. Seemed like an identity crisis of sort, trying to mix battle royale with reaching a goal first. Which is also why I didn’t like Hunt: Showdown.

But just straight up making a battle royale game? That’s even worse. Where’s the gimmick? What differentiates you from other games? Literally nothing.

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Michael

Soooo they brought in players for a completely different game then changed it? That is actually pretty messed up. Bait and switch much?

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Sorenthaz

Yeah, I wonder if that’s reportable on Steam or something. Steam of course refuses to give refunds or anything for folks who got suckered into it; I’m sooooo glad I didn’t take the plunge and buy one of the pricy founder packs.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Battlerite recently also announced Battle Royale mode

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Awww, how’s Snoop Dog gonna RP in that? Guess that expensive promotion didn’t pan out as well as they’d hoped, at least it was pretty fun : (

This is kinda disappointing, but if it’s what they need to stay afloat oh well. I dug the notion of a “reality TV” style survival game that encouraged folks to roleplay, even if I have no interest in playing and little interest in watching. It was unique and different and actually tried to do something interesting with a genre that’s largely abandoned now (survival games).