With the success of battle royale games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, Automaton has announced that it too is developing a battle royale game – with a difference. The difference is the sheer scale of players, as Mavericks will offer huge 400-player battles in maps twice the size of those available in PUBG.

Is a 400-player Battle Royale game too much? Here’s everything we know so far about Mavericks: Proving Grounds, including a release date window, platform speculation and gameplay details.

When will Mavericks: Proving Grounds be released?

As confirmed during a VG247 interview with Automation's CEO, Mavericks: Proving Grounds will be available in some form in 2018, although when we’ll see the initial release is still unknown. It doesn’t sound like it’ll be the finished game at release either; chances are it’ll launch into Steam Early Access with constant updates adding new features and tweaking what’s on offer.

Which platforms will Mavericks: Proving Grounds be available for?

While platform availability for the upcoming Battle Royale game is yet to be confirmed, we can take hints from its competitors, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Both were initially PC-only before starting to expand to consoles. Fortnite is now available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and even mobile devices, while PUBG is available for PC, Xbox One and mobile.

This leads us to believe that Mavericks: Proving Grounds will be available on PC first, with the possibility that it’ll come to Xbox One users via Microsoft’s Early Access program. Sadly, Sony doesn’t offer any such program for PS4 games, hence the lack of PUBG presence on PS4. The on-going development of Mavericks suggests that it’ll be the case for that game, too.

What should I expect from Mavericks: Proving Grounds gameplay?

The headline feature of Mavericks: Proving Grounds is the ability to create large-scale Battle Royale matches. We’re not talking 100 players here, we’re talking 400 players in a single match. In fact, in a VG247 interview, Automaton CEO James Thompson claims that it can go anywhere up to 1000 players without worrying about performance issues.

The developers see the game as more of a Massively Multiplayer PVP experience rather than a straight-up Battle Royale game, with persistent effects throughout the world thanks to the inclusion of the incredible SpatialOS infrastructure. That provides persistent effects across matches; grass that you crush under foot and buildings that you blow up will be destroyed for all players on your map, adding a level of realism that simply isn’t offered by many games at the moment.

But in addition to huge PVP battles in a 16km sq playable area, you’ll find a capital city in the centre – a social hub for players, giving the game a slight MMORPG feel. You’ll be able to trade, level up your character and create friendships with other players on your server. Will you work together to take down a particularly aggressive player? It’s possible.

“We’re not trying to just throw more players at the typical online play – our big step forward in that area is more tactics, more simulation, a more consistent ability to show you how good you are at the game.” Thompson told VG247. “You can just explore and have fun in a more casual play, too, and we feel like even that will be better because there’s more to explore and more to discover thanks to that density. It’s a large map – the full map is four times bigger than PUBG, approximately.”

The CEO goes into incredible detail about the systems powering Mavericks, and gives a bit of insight into the development process and the issues that the team is facing right now. Head over to VG247 to read the full interview.