Remember H1Z1, the once-popular battle royale title that predated the likes of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? Well, it’s going free-to-play now.
H1Z1 has had a rough time of it over the past few months thanks to the rise of other titles in the genre. Compared to the all-time high of 150k peak players it saw in July 2017, its player base is now a mere fraction of what it was, with the latest numbers indicating that it has only enjoyed a peak of 8.5k players in the past 24 hours.
To its credit, however, it’s not like developer Daybreak Game Company took its deteriorating situation lying down. At the end of February, the game looked like it was poised to get a new lease on life thanks to it leaving Early Access and introducing the Auto Royale update.
Unfortunately, this didn’t pan out the way it had hoped and H1Z1 couldn’t recover the numbers, prompting the team to make this unfortunate, yet unsurprising decision.
At the very least, it’s not entirely bad news, as General manager Anthony Castoro seems pretty excited about what going f2p can do for the game:
“We are very excited to announce that H1Z1 will be free to play starting today. 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.”
Indeed, H1Z1 — much like Fortnite and PUBG — is big on eSports and the first season of its new Pro League will begin in Las Vegas next month.
In the meantime, despite going f2p, early adopters aren’t getting the raw end of the deal here. Anyone who picked up the game before hand will be get the “H1Z1 Appreciation Pack” containing three in-game skins, 10 Victory Crates and 10,000 Skulls currency.
The transition from a paid title to a f2p is a bold move that has the potential to attract new players and lure in old ones. Let’s see if it pays off.