Now, that is a headline you don’t see every day! We have been following the development of H1Z1 for a pretty long time. It all started back in April 2014, when Daybreak Game Company (still known as Sony Online Entertainment) announced their upcoming zombie survival game. A lot has happened in the nearly two years that have followed. The developers added various features and content, resulting in two game modes that have gradually polarized the community. One mode stayed true to the original concept, allowing players to survive in a harsh, post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world. The new game mode was a lot more action oriented, focusing on defeating other players and zombies. The community was split into two factions, one demanding more updates for the survival mode, the other demanding the same for the Battle Royale. The development team over at Daybreak Game Company has listened to their community and has decided the online game into two entirely separate titles. H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill will each have their very own dedicated development resources to guarantee that both titles and communities get the attention they deserve.
The former will obviously focus on the open-world zombie survival experience where scavenging, crafting, and base building are at the center of the gameplay. The latter will continue to focus on the fast-paced shooter gameplay consisting of multiple, fight-to-the-death game modes.
Both titles will be available in Early Access on Steam starting on February 17th, which also marks the day of the split. Existing Early Access players will be granted access to both versions. H1Z1: King of the Kill is also scheduled to be released on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 this summer.
Unfortunately, it turns out that neither version of the game is planned to be available for free anymore. This comes as a big surprise and huge disappointment for those hoping for a free-to-play release, especially considering that the studio repeatedly promised a free game. It also marks a significant departure from the development studio’s former games’ business models.
Source: Official game homepage