Scavengers is holding a 5,000-player public event this weekend

(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

Scavengers is a battle royale, sort of, although James said in his April preview that it's really more akin to a friendlier, more accessible take on Escape from Tarkov or Hunt: Showdown. Players team up in squads of three to fight for survival in a hybrid PvE sandbox/PvP arena, but the distinguishing factor is that victory is what you make of it: Maybe you want to kill everything that moves, or maybe you'd rather just stuff your pockets and haul ass. Either way, a win is a win.

An even cooler thing about Scavengers is the massive scale it's capable of via the ScavLab experimental sandbox, which we got a taste of last month in a test session packed with more than 1,700 players. It was chaotic, but it worked, and near the end of the session developer Midwinter Entertainment pushed the player population to around 9,600—stressful, but not unmanageable. "Things stay surprisingly stable, even during the 15th wave of monster rain, thousands of virtual players enacting prerecorded routes and behaviors," James wrote of the experience.

Soon everyone will have a chance to sample that large-scale action, as the first ScavLab public event is set to take place this weekend. The studio hopes to get up to 5,000 players into the shared environment simultaneously for a session featuring "competitive sports minigames [and] large-scale combat," as well as an online AMA with Midwinter co-founder and CEO Josh Holmes. 

"We’ll test features and gameplay ideas with up to 5,000 players in a shared environment—with the potential to host many more in future events," Holmes said. "Our main goal is to make an experience that people want to join for the fun of it, and we’ll be trying out a lot of things with every ScavLab event as we aim to achieve that."

The first ScavLab public event is scheduled to get underway at 11 am PT/7pm BST on May 29 and will be open to all Scavengers players, although depending on how many people try to take part it's possible that not everyone will be able to get in. The event will also be livestreamed on Twitch. Scavengers itself is free to play on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Andy Chalk

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.