H1Z1 – Going Live in Time to be a Zombie

Daybreak’s one-time H1Z1, then H1Z1: King of the Kill, then just King of the Kill, and finally just H1Z1 again, is reported to be leaving Early Access today.  There is a Producer’s Letter on the official site full of enthusiasm for this monumental day.

H1Z1 2015 Logo

At least they are trying to own the whole naming thing.

You missed one I think…

Starting as the Battle Royale mode of their zombie survival game first announced almost four years ago was a surprise success, selling in the seven figures and dominating the Steam charts.  Rightly wanting to reinforce success, the rest of the game was partitioned off as the aptly named Just Survive while the company focused on the bit that was getting attention.

I don’t think we’re here anymore…

Of course, what it also did was spawn imitators.  We hear all about PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds these days, a title that leapfrogged H1Z1’s success in a way reminiscent of what WoW did to EverQuest, and which spawned its own imitator and competitor, Fortnite and its Battle Royale module.

Meanwhile H1Z1 has slid down the charts, having lost a reported 91% of its player base.  Once things looked rosy and there was a deal with Tencent to bring the game to China.  Now I wonder if that is in jeopardy.

So it seems like exactly the right moment to leave Early Access I guess.  Not that leaving Early Access means anything at all these days.  The game was supposed to leave Early Access last year, but then didn’t.  Now it has and it doesn’t mean much of anything.  There is no launch day bump when you’ve been acting like a shipping product for a couple of years already.

They do have some new features that come with launch, the main one being a car based Battle Royale mode.

Zombies in cars getting coffee

Of course, in what I can only see as an ironic twist, they announced a beta feature on launch day.  We will see if the updates that Daybreak are bringing to the game with its long past due launch will stem the tide of its fleeing player base.  Is it too little, too late?

3 thoughts on “H1Z1 – Going Live in Time to be a Zombie

  1. Aywren Sojourner

    Interesting.

    Back in the day, I put a number of hours into H1Z1. I have no interest in their King of the Hill… or whatever it’s called now… side of the game, and came to it for just the zombie sandbox MMO with friends. Apparently all Daybreak cares about is the part of the game I have no interest in… and it’s been that way for a long time.

    The game lost me and all my friends along the way because of it. It was a pure pain in the butt that you were required to log in to repair just to keep your base from falling apart and being looted. And the one time we managed to get our hands on a vehicle, which was really fun, the thing was stolen out of our base in the matter of days. It all felt futile.

    Aside from that, I’m not a fan of their reworked maps and building system. I haven’t explored the game much since the sandbox mega-wipe and restart, but I just don’t see this as a game I’m ever going to come back to.

    Again, it’s another game that never became anything close to what Daybreak promised it would. I’ve stopped being surprised or disappointed by this. I just wonder how long this one will last before it gets nixxed like Landmark did. :(

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I hear you. I went in and played for a while way back in the day, before the split. It was kind of neat as a co-op game with some friends. The problem is that the few people I knew who played it stopped and as a solo game you spend a lot more time starting over. Still, it had a gritty realism to it.

    I never did try the battle royale mode which, of course, because the successful bit.

    I suspect if we hear that Tencent is killing off the China deal the writing will be on the wall. We shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bhagpuss

    I have still never found the time to download H1Z1 (either flavor) let alone actually play it. So long as it brings in some income for DBG then I’m pleased to see it continue but if it can’t do that then I’d be happy to see the resources diverted to something that can.

    There still seems to be no sign whatsoever of a long-term plan for DBG from Columbus Nova. Supposedly CN bought SOE from Sony to get their hands on EQNext and H1Z1. With the first gone and the second on the way out just what do Columbus Nova want with an aging MMO developer running a small stable of 10-20 year old games?

    If I had to bet I’d bet on a sale. Still some assets there to strip.

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