Realm Royale, the free-to-play battle royale game from Paladins developer Hi-Rez Studios, is now available in Early Access on Steam. To celebrate the not-quite-full-release of the game, Hi-Rez is holding a "continuous 130+ hour stream" featuring developers and community members that won't stop until sometime on Sunday.
Realm Royale supports five different character classes—Warrior, Mage, Hunter, Engineer, and Assassin, each with its own unique abilities—and craftable weapons ranging from conventional (which is to say, dull) firearms to exotic fantasy gear. It is also, according to Hi-Rez, the first battle royale designed specifically to be played in four-player squads, a reflection of its early roots as a game mode for Paladins, Hi-Rez's free-to-play hero shooter.
It's no PUBG or Fortnite, but Steam Charts says there are currently a little north of 9000 people playing it, and that's not nothing. The big question is whether it can maintain and grow that audience in a genre that's so utterly dominated by other games. I'm inclined to give it even odds: I don't expect that Realm Royale will ever achieve those lofty heights, but Hi-Rez has found success with a relatively low-key approach to games like Paladins and Smite, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Realm Royale achieve a similar sort of viability.
Hi-Rez has a dedicated Discord server you can hook up with here. The marathon livestream, which started at 10 am ET on June 5, is yours to enjoy below.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.