Daybreak Game Company has announced that survival-based H1Z1 will now be going free-to-play as of today. It’s all part of a plan to bolster the company’s focus on esports.
“Not only does this decision allow us to share our version of Battle Royale and Auto Royale with even more players, but it signifies the next step in making H1Z1 a must-watch esport,” H1Z1 general manager Anthony Castoro said.
With the game going free-to-play, any player who already purchased it during its stint on Steam Early Access will receive an H1Z1 Appreciation Pack. The pack comes with a selection of special items, including 10,000 Skulls, the Gasrunner Hoodie, Bloom Survivor t-shirt, Splinter Camo ARV, and 10 Victory Crates. There are also special Bronze, Silver, and Limited Edition Gold Battle Royale packs up for grabs to purchase as the game goes free-to-play.
The announcement coincides with Daybreak Game Company’s committal to the H1Z1 Pro League, which is meant to start this year on April 21. If you’ve had your eye on H1Z1 in the past but weren’t interested in ponying up the cash to give it a try, now’s a better time than ever to take the plunge — as long as you’re not already preoccupied with a more popular battle royale game.
It’s no surprise that H1Z1 is now scrambling to stay relevant in a market where giants like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have all but left the game in the dust. Battle royale games are the hot new thing, with Fortnite Battle Royale having rose to prominence as a free-to-play mode originally.
H1Z1 hasn’t really been on the radar at all over the past few months, despite refreshing its formula, splintering off into several games, and then being joined together again in a bid to attract players.