PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fornite are the leaders on the battle royale block, selling millions of copies and in-app transactions. Games studios and publishers are rushing to make clones. But the granddaddy of them all, H1Z1, just left its Early Access stage and has officially released.

H1Z1 used to be king of this hill. It started out as a survival game (riffing off the likes of DayZ), and with the help of a modder named … Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, it became the first standalone battle royale game. But it fell behind to PUBG, which stormed the gaming scene last spring, and then to Fortnite: Battle Royale, which offers a friendlier experience with building structures in a last-player-standing game.

H1Z1 is going to market with a new mode focusing on vehicles. Cars and trucks have always been important to Daybreak’s game, so the designers added Auto Royale, a vehicle-only mode. The studio’s savvy enough to know that its games have a strength, something that helps it stand out in a market that’s growing bigger and bigger.

But will it be enough to compete with PUBG Corp.’s and Epic’s juggernauts?

For PC gaming coverage, send news tips to Jeff Grubb and guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our PC Gaming Channel.

— Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

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From GamesBeat

H1Z1 exits Early Access with the Auto Royale vehicle-only mode

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SuperData: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite made a $200 million dent in January

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Bossa Studios turns to AI for emergent stories within online games

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Beyond GamesBeat

Farlands — Systemic Crafting of Evil Islands

Systemic gameplay is a very big topic recently. Even though systemic games have existed for a long time, nowadays there’s a lot of conscious discussion about titles that provide emergent situations by allowing the players to experiment with the rules and mechanics in place. A lot of those games feature a crafting system, and it just feels that it would be natural for crafting to also be expanded in a systemic way, and yet for some reason that doesn’t happen. (via Gamasutra)

Crypto-miners bought 3m graphics cards in 2017, but gaming still dominates

In these dark days of graphics card price hikes and crypto mining this and currency mining that, it’s easy to think that the powers that be have forgotten about us gaming folk and are simply concerning with making sure those pesky coin plunderers continue to line their respective pockets. (via Rock Paper Shotgun)

AMD’s Ryzen 2 chips could finally take the gaming crown from Intel’s Core processors

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College esports is set to explode, starting with the Fiesta Bowl

As executive director of the Fiesta Bowl, one of the largest postseason college football games of the year, Mike Nealy was more familiar with shoulder pads than mousepads. Six months ago, he didn’t know people were making money playing video games professionally, he’d never heard of Twitch, and the last time he picked up a controller, it was attached to an Atari 2600. (via Engadget)

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