Hyper Scape was a potential competitor to popular battle royale games at release, but quickly lost the interest of audiences and players.
When Ubisoft first announced its battle royale game Hyper Scape for release July 12, 2020, it seemed to be a potential major competitor for games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Warzone. Hyper Scape offered a fresh approach to the popular battle royale format, with a sleek sci-fi environment, fast-paced and mobile gameplay, and unique features such as the Echo system and Hacks.
In the Echo System, players that die in the game become “Echos,” and can still scout, participate in the team, and even respawn and join back in the fight. This creates an incentive for players to remain in match and still feel like they’re playing, as a major issue for most battle royales is the amount of time wasted spectating teammates in matches. Along with the innovative Echo system, Hyper Scape‘s Hacks create a spin on typical run-and-gun gameplay, allowing players to manipulate fights in a variety of different ways, and even create a purpose for looting in late-game. With the new looting system allowing upgrades rather than dropping current items, the game offered multiple methods to reaching its “Showdown phase.” In the Showdown phase, a squad can either win the typical battle royale approach, and just be the final squad standing and eliminate enemies, or a player can pick up a crown that drops in the Showdown phase and hold it for 45 seconds.
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With all these features and solutions to the issues in battle royale games, Hyper Scape‘s hype was growing for being the next big game, and potentially over-taking Riot’s Valorant, which had only been released the month before and was topping charts on platforms such as Twitch. With the huge success of Valorant and its release method of dropping beta keys through popular streamers on Twitch, Hyper Scape tried to follow in its footsteps and partner up with Twitch to release beta keys for players by watching streamers play the game. Initially, just like Valorant, popular streamers were able to hype up the game and players were excited to play themselves, and for the first couple days of its release it was topping categories on Twitch.
How Hyper Scape Failed & What Can Be Fixed
However, once popular streamers such as Tfue lost interest in the game, or stopped being paid to play it, viewers quickly dropped and players lost interest in the game itself. As of today, Hyper Scape 1.8k average viewers on the entire category, compared to Valorant‘s 64k average viewers and even Apex Legends‘ 37.4k viewers. While Hyper Scape‘s features theoretically should be boosting it above other, older battle royale games, Hyper Scape couldn’t hold the interest of content creators, and lost the potential fanbase and even eSport audience that it would’ve had if they had familiar faces endorsing the game.
While it’s unsure if Ubisoft can save Hyper Scape at this point, they would first have to focus on advertising and re-hyping the game, and maybe even changing the game itself in certain ways. While the cyber-theme is visually exciting, the map could offer more variation in texture and memorable locations, as well as more potential for resource collecting and environment interaction. The fast-paced gameplay allows matches to go faster and players feel more involved, the character movement is almost dizzy-ing and players die fast, even considering the Echo system. The real, most sustainable, approach to Hyper Scape‘s success would be for Ubisoft to invest in both content creators and pro players loving and playing the game, and allowing for more eSports potential such as tournaments for professional and non-professional players.
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