H1Z1 is finally going free-to-play

Remember way back in the long, long ago, before H1Z1 hit early access, split, reconstituted, renamed, didn’t launch, aborted a console port, and all those shenanigans? You know, back when the game was planned as a free-to-play title, but it didn’t happen?

Now it’s happened.

Following the official launch of H1Z1 (the battle royale half) last week, Daybreak has formally announced that it’s going free-to-play. Today. There are brand-new buyable packs on Steam running up to 100 bucks, but they are at least technically optional.

Readers will recall that the game has appeared to be struggling on Steam over the past half year as other battle royale games picked up players; as of February, the game had apparently lost 90% of its playerbase since last summer, presumable to the likes of PUBG and Fortnite, the latter of which launched free.

The zombie sandbox half of the game, Just Survive, hasn’t made any free-to-play announcement yet.

Source: Official site. Thanks to everyone who pinged us with this!
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Roger Melly

I am a bit of a fan of the zombie genre ( I’ve even watch Zombeavers ) so I was quite interested in this game but but a friend in my Rift Guild tried it and said it was a zombie game that had a severe lack of zombies ?

Is that true ?

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

WAAAAY too late.

Look at PUBG, game’s already losing players to the more popular Fortnite.

What makes Daybreak think that they can compete against that?

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Sorry DB too busy playing Fortnite’s PVE mode ‘Save the World’. It is a lot of fun and has sucked me right in.

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Baemir

I gave this game another chance a few days ago and I have to say Daybreak really turned things around. It’s stable, runs well, looks good and the gunplay feels decent enough. A massive improvement over what it used to be.

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Bruno Brito

Yet, it’s not enough.

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Baemir

Eh, I enjoy it. From what I’ve heard about PUBG, it sounds like H1Z1 is actually more polished. And I tried Fortnite but its TTK was too crazy for me and the building mechanic isn’t to my liking.

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Sorenthaz

Seems a bit late. At this point it’s an attempt to inject it with life support more than anything.

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Weilan

Late or not, they will still gain some players, not me, BR is not for me. They are creating more competition for PUBG which still remains B2P.

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CasualSlacks

How is it even close to too late? It’s got a 30-day average player count higher than Final Fantasy XIV on Steam. The game was hosting more than 5,000 players just yesterday before the announcement and is now seeing a 15,000 player (likely temporary) boost. H1Z1 ain’t doing PUBG numbers, but it’s got more players than any of the MMOs I’m actively playing.

http://steamcharts.com/app/433850

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CasualSlacks

The openness to refunding people who bought the game recently is a nice touch. I just bought it for $7.50 a couple weeks ago and I can’t figure out any reason to play it over PUBG. I also can’t find any reason to play PUBG over H1Z1 either. I don’t really play either…

“Purchase H1Z1 recently? Refunds will be provided by Steam in accordance with its refund policy. “

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Sally Bowls

@Armsbend & @agemyth veered into a common topic on any DBG article: the future of EQx
Poll/Article suggestion: why not address that head on

I suggest a “Where do you see EQ in four-five years?” Poll
1) At DBG, more developers/increase in development effort
2) At DBG, status quo – current development effort
3) At DBG, maintenance mode
4) Not at DBG, more developers/increase in development effort
5) Not at DBG, status quo – current development effort
6) Not at DBG, maintenance mode
7) shutdown
8) IP / brand name sold for non MMO reasons – use in-name-only for non-MMO (EQ Mobile, EQ survival, EQ adult diapers, … ) If the EQ name gets cheap enough, it could be worth it for some business. Or “EQ, the Kickstater Kon”
9) public domain
10) elf butts / owned by MOP

N.B.: what should have happened, what this pioneering IP deserved, what people wanted are different questions.

Sony had a very famous – albeit tarnished from its peak – brand name and was very motivated to make SOE go away. The rumors here is by the end it was more about giving it away than selling. Whereas I don’t see CN spending much money to protect the DBG brand name. So if the EQ brand is worth less now than three years ago (both EQ and the MMO market have declined a bit) and if Sony could not sell it three years ago, then I could be wrong but my first guess is DBG would have a hard time finding a deal they would be willing to make.

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Armsbend

I personally don’t think it has any future but I think it has a better chance in someone else’s hands that DB.

EQ really wasn’t so iconic in writing or characters it couldn’t be done and done better just by inserting elves and wizards into it. But someone might want that early recognition. I hope so for the longtime fans.

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Greaterdivinity

So…it officially launched what, last week and it’s already making the change? Interesting.

Oh well, still no interest in the genre so I’ll pass. I’ll keep an eye out for Just Survive in case they make meaningful headway on that one and make its F2P launch/transition.

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Dug From The Earth

Anyone with more than 2 brain cells realizes that at this point, with TheBreak Games, that this stage means the game will be shut down in about 6 months.

And honestly, all for the better.

Let any of the talented devs that still may work for the company go find better employment for a better company

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Sally Bowls

One of my recurrent themes:

Q: what is the difference between B2P and F2P?
A: In this case, $20

I.e., if the B2P game is still going to need a cash shop to stay in business, then what is the benefit to the consumer of the upfront payment? Whereas, IIRC, DBG sold a million of these at $20 in the first month of EA.

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CasualSlacks

You want to know the benefit of paying to play a new game while it’s popular and the fickle gaming herd hasn’t yet covered it in a cloud of negativity?