John Smedley, the President of Sony Online Entertainment, announced today that the zombie survival game H1Z1 will be releasing onto Steam Early Access next month on January 15th.
The time between now and January will give the developers the time needed to provide a product they are proud of, but is definitely not near completion and in need of player testing and feedback. H1Z1 is in a ‘true’ Early Access, with Smedley emphasizing that it is a “fun and compelling game that isn’t finished” and that if you expect a completed product that you should not buy it in its current state.
What is interesting is that the game will apparently be launching in two different SKUs, including a basic version for $19.99 and another more expensive version that has yet to receive pricing details. The more expensive ‘premium’ version will include access to additional game mode servers (think something along the lines of a division between team deathmatch or capture the flag), and that you can gain access to these through the basic version by purchasing or earning ‘tickets’. It’s an interesting concept, though one I fear could divide the community in some respect.
You can read the announcement post that Smedley made on Reddit below:
After a lot of hard work, we’ve decided to make the release date January 15th, 2015. This gives us just enough time to polish what we have and put out something we’ll be proud of and hopefully you’ll be excited to play.
Why did it take longer than we originally thought? It’s a fair question. The simple answer is once we saw what we could have had earlier it wasn’t good enough and we wanted to put something out that we would be proud of. What you’ll be playing January 15th is a really fun game, but it’s early. It’s everything Early Access should be – a fun and compelling game that isn’t finished. Our goal is to have you help us finish it and have it be a game we can build a large community in over time.
Is it going to be a finished game? Absolutely not. If that’s what you’re expecting, DO NOT BUY EARLY ACCESS. The goal here is to let you in early and help us mold it into a game you want to be a part of for quite a long time.
We’ll have 2 SKUS when we launch. The basic early access sku for $19.99 – which will let you into the game and have a great time, and a more expensive one which we’ll announce here shortly. The difference between the two will be things like access to some of our different game mode servers (which you can get access to by purchasing tickets or earning them as well) and other specifics we’ll be outlining soon.
Is H1Z1 going to be better than Day Z day 1? No it won’t. We’ll get asked that question a lot and I wanted to be up front about it. We’re not as feature rich and they have a lot of really cool stuff we just don’t have yet. That being said, we’re also a different game. We’re an MMO and our goals are to create a large scale world that gives you the incredible feeling of being a survivor in a zombie apocalypse.
We’ll be starting out with roughly 64k square Kilometers, but we plan to grow it right away.. and over time create our virtual version of the US post apocalypse. Look for us to start adding land right away post launch.
Please join us at 3:30pm PST on our H1Z1 twitch channel to answer any questions you may have!
Will the H1Z1 be as entertaining and interesting as DayZ? I’m not entirely certain, but it definitely looks like it will be worth looking into when it becomes available next month if I have any money left over from the looming Winter Steam Sale.