‘Smashbox Arena’ Studio Announces VR Battle Royale ‘Population: ONE’


You might think battle royale shooters are passé, but until we get a really good one in VR, it isn’t over yet. Enter Population: ONE, a newly announced VR battle royale from BigBox VR, the developers behind Smashbox Arena (2016).

On paper, Population: ONE certainly sounds ambitious, as it promises to deliver many of the elements seen in popular battle royale games such as Fortnite and PUBG along with a few other things too. On the game’s feature list: one square kilometer map, the ability to climb anything, jet packs, the ability to build defensive structures, and even the addition of single player missions.

Some of this traversal tech, namely the flying and climbing, is being couched as the studio’s own ‘FreeMotion’ scheme, although the team hasn’t specified exactly how any of it differs from standard VR locomotion methods yet.

Image courtesy Big Box VR

With its emphasis on realism, it also marks a stark departure from the company’s previous shooter, Smashbox Arena, which used cartoony characters and fictitious plasma ball guns.

Smashbox Arena however fared very well in comparison to many other VR multiplayer games, which sometimes languish with low hourly active user numbers, creating a downward spiral into empty severs and essentially a dead game. Hopefully some of this valuable multiplayer know-how will make its was into Population: ONE as well.

'Population: One' to Begin Invite-only Playtesting on Oculus Quest

info is still thin on the ground, so there’s plenty more to learn about Population: ONE before we can tell where the game’s headed exactly.

BigBox is currently taking sign-ups for a closed beta, which they say will come sometime in 2019. The game is said to include cross-play for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows VR headsets.

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  • Get Schwifty!

    “You might think battle royale shooters are passé, but until we get a really good one in VR, it isn’t over yet.”

    OMG so true…. I think half the popularity is the free cost associated (Fortnite) and the fun of just watching it, but they will wear out their welcome quickly unless game mechanics progress. That being said it is probably a good thing for the VR camp to have in their repertoire.

  • Vegeta785

    I’m getting tired of battle royale, but VR battle royale i’m not.

  • dogtato

    My most exciting moments in VR have been in BAM Royale and Rec Royale, so I welcome another good looking entrant. Hope they have a plan for filling games. Standout has bots, Rec Room just has a large population in no small part to psvr support. bam royale became unplayable because it had neither

    • JJ

      OMG BAM is my favorite over Pavlov, Onward and more. Patrick the Dev. has put some crazy things in there that go unnoticed. Like driving hummers and flying helis in VR. I LOVE IT. flying your crew around in a heli, parachuting down to a roof and sniping away all in vr is EXCELLENT.

  • Firestorm185

    Looking forward to seeing how the jet packs work.

  • Luke

    sounds good….

  • PJ

    There’s some wonderful looking PCVR shooters on the horizon,
    Zero Caliber
    Zero Killed (complete with PSVR crossplay!)
    Space Junkies
    Echo Combat
    Population: One

    And I was contemplating on getting BF5… no, I’ll stick with VR thank you!

    • Good for you. Turds at EA don’t need your $60, anyway :3

      • jj

        yeah! ill see you guys on the REAL battlefields!

  • Bibelo

    Oh my god a FPS ! This has not been made in… like 2 weeks.

    Seriously, so that’s what SMA’s developper has been doing, instead of maintaining SMA, which is the only game I’m playing.

    (do you feel the love/hate here?)