Squad up! Is SBM’s Armajet squad system better than Fortnite’s?

Written by: Sean Overman – September 8th, 2019 5:02pm PST

Armajet from indie game developer Super Bit Machine hits an epic milestone with it’s newest 1.7 update. This includes a huge change to the meta: squad based gameplay, nerfs and buffs to staple weapon loadouts.

What is Armajet? Think of it like Quake or Halo meets Super Mario Bros. It’s a 2.5D platform shooter. You use a jetpack to fly around an arena style map and play one of two game modes: Death Match or Fuel Frenzy. With all the success games like Fortnite, PUBG (Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds) Mobile and Clash Royale have seen recently, it’s always on a gamer’s mind what the next big game will be. It’s possible that Armajet is a hidden gem. 

With the recent success of the Fortnite World Cup event and 16-year-old Bugha earning $3 million for winning the event, everybody is talking about the next big thing for esports. There are so many video games out on the market it’s enough to make anyone’s headspin.

Fortnite is likely the most popular game on the market. It is cross platform, meaning people can play on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and mobile devices. If you think about it, mobile devices are cheaper and there are more of them out there in the world, especially when it comes to Android OS devices. The great thing about Fortnite is it’s not pay-to-win. In-app purchases only change your cosmetics. 

Another popular game among casual and pro players is Clash Royale (CR). It’s exclusively a mobile game on iOS and Android. This mobile game has a pay-to-win models, which is still highly addicting. Clash Royale League esports play had a $1 Million prize pool in 2018. In March of 2019, according to Forbes, CR earned a total of $2.5 Billion in revenue over 3 years, as compared to Fortnite, which made $2.4 Billion in 2018 alone, according to gameindustry.biz.

With huge games like Fortnite and Clash Royale dominating the mobile and cross platform scene, it’s been difficult for new game developers to get a foothold and make a profit. Games like Armajet have it tough. However, with the game’s 1.7 update dropping just last week, they’ve seen a spike in player activity. According to the marketing arm at Super Bit Machine (SBM), Armajet’s developer, they’ve seen an increase in player base, 20% increase in game session length, more engaged users and users coming back to the game more often. 

From the Armajet player’s perspective, the largest improvement is the squad play option. In previous patches, you’d be randomly assigned to a team and hope to get on your friend’s side. You can ‘squad’ up with a party of four players and dominate the arenas. The squad play aspect, very reminiscent of Fortnite and PUBG, has allowed people to play with their friends in Armajet. The more you play with friends communicate via Discord, you’re more likely to succeed and get the W after each round. This new meta completely changes the gameplay and sparks a fire under the Armajet mobile gaming community. 

Another big nugget is the valor system. This allows set rewards to be given to the player when they reach higher valor levels. Think of them as trophies given for winning in Clash Royale. You can unlock gold or paragon used to buy items in the rotating store. Also, you can pay real money to have a higher chance to unlock premium (cooler looking) skins for your pilot and weapons. It’s not as easy to unlock the higher tier weapons as it used to be. For free-to-play, F2P, players, that means a lot more grinding. For the OG players, that means you still keep your previously unlocked weapons and get to use them on the noobs. 

Looping back to the game developer, Super Bit Machine has gotten investments recently from some big names. David Helgason of Unity, a multibillion dollar gaming engine, and Index Ventures have invested into SBM and Armajet. SBM also had partnerships with major gaming brand Razer which featured gameplay of Armajet on their new mobile device marketing. 

On the esport front lines, it’s primarily a grassroots effort. On video game streaming platforms like Twitch, Mobcrush and Omlete Arcade, we see lots of activity from pro players, managers and esport production companies. We see interest in Armajet via weekly tournaments from King of the Arena (KOTA) from The Forge League, Friday Night Fights, Armajet Arena and the biggest cash prize pool offered by Mobile Gaming League (MGL). Just like how Fortnite started with their own community tournaments, surely Armajet’s passionate player base will attract more attention and balloon organically into an esports scene reminiscent of other titles like CS:GO, Halo or PUBGM. 

Armajet from Super Bit Machine is definitely worth your time, especially when matches typically last about 2-3 minutes. Check it out and play while you wait in line for coffee, the lobby at your dentist or doctor’s visit. With the newest update here, worldwide release is being teased by SBM as mid October 2019. 

About The Author:

Sean Overman is a professional esports talent, commentator and writer. He previously worked as on-air talent at AfterBuzz TV in Hollywood, CA. He travels the world for esports and gaming events, is a Twitch Partner and ASMRtist.

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