Big changes are coming to H1Z1 as the game reaches the end of its Early Access phase and makes its way onto consoles. It will split into two games, one with a focus on survival and the other on the popular Battle Royale battles.
As reported in Polygon H1Z1 will split into H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Hill. For those who purchased it on the PC in Early Access, or prior to February 17 they will get the two versions at no extra cost. Afterwards and on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 it will cost $19.99 for each game separately.
Executive director at Daybreak, Jen Anderson has admitted that development on the game has been strained, especially with the popularity of Battle Royale (King of the Hill) and community focus on that side of the game. This has resulted on the development team working on splitting the two sides of the game.
“We have received feedback from our community,” said Andersen, “and they’ve pointed out that these are really two different games, that they are very much stand-alone concepts that have two different audiences. There will be two separate development teams supporting H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill, and both of these teams will really be able to tool up and focus on the needs of the players of each of those titles.”
While the game was originally planned as a free-to-play game once it was out of Early Access, Laura Naviaux, the chief publishing offer admits that these plans had to change:
“At that point in time there was the thinking that this game would potentially be free-to-play. However, as the market landscape has changed, I think that us as a publisher, in addition to the rest of the industry, has seen how quickly business models are evolving and we’re paying a lot of attention to that.
“Let’s face it, we live in a democratized world where players and consumers have so much that they have to choose from and at their disposal. … We need to pick appropriate business models on a per-product basis, and what’s best for H1Z1 is to have a modest download fee with optional microtransactions.”
Having been a fan of the game for some time, I can fully understand this split coming. The Battle Royale has proven to be hugely popular, and will work well as a separate entity in itself. With microtransactions also confirmed, it will be hoped that these are not too imposing on the player.
What are your thoughts on H1Z1 being split up into two games? Which version will you buy? Let us know in the comments section below.