Sony's H1Z1 Gets Details on Monetization and More: "If you Liked Dark Souls You'll Like Our Game"

By Giuseppe Nelva

April 10, 2014

Sony Online Entertainment’s H1Z1 has been unveiled yesterday and President John Smedley has been giving further details on what the game will entail on Reddit and on Twitter.

Smedley opened a discussion about monetization in the game, also giving some information on his own:

I wanted to take this opportunity to solicit ideas from people interested in H1Z1 regarding how we monetize it. You will be surprised to hear we have intentionally left the decisions about what to monetize until we can hear from you. This isn’t some contrived thing.. I’m being serious. It is a nearly blank slate.
So the floor is open for ideas. I’m going to have a few simple requests for your thinking process:
1) This will be a F2P game (after early access). During early access it’s going to cost $19.99 to play.
2) We are not interested in selling weapons. Weapons are only acquired by crafting or exploring and finding one. We are not selling power.
3) The game at it’s core is about survival. Our preference is not to sell ANYTHING that can help with that. If this game is too hard for you play another one. We don’t want to give shortcuts for our core mechanic.
4) Wearables – we DO see wearables as an obvious “heck yes” kind of thing. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have most wearables be purchasable. Of course we will still have plenty to craft, find and wear for free.
5) We made this game because we love making games and entertaining our players is why we exist. That being said, we do need to make money. Your ideas are appreciated greatly but if we can avoid the “hey give us everything for free because you owe it to us since you’re a big company and we should get free games” commentary it would help a lot.

He then provided further snippets during the discussion itself:

  • Camping has just been added to the game by the developer.
  • It’s closer to Planetside 2’s terrain system plus a lot of modifications for destructability.
  • There will be horses.
  • There will be no leveling or XP. Some type of simple advancement system in the Play as a Zombie mode has been discussed. but that’s down the line.
  • In-game advertising is not very likely as it doesn’t net much revenue at all. Plus licensors can get very anxious about how their brands are used in apocalyptic games.
  • The team “likes pets” and Smedley says to stay tuned on that front.
  • You will keep what you buy for real money, so whatever looting there will be, other players won’t be able to steal it.
  • If they sell Camos there will “absolutely” be free versions in the game, maybe alternates.
  • The game can be played in first and third person. Ground vehicles are third person.
  • There will be different weathers conditions.
  • There will be mechanics to encourage hostage taking instead of just killing other players.
  • Ammo or weapons won’t be sold for real money.
  • What you can buy for real money won’t affect survival in any way.
  • You can go back and find what you dropped when you die, but your corpse may be a zombie by then.

Smedley also commented on the similarities in concept between H1Z1 and the popular DayZ:

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I happen to think Day Z is an incredible game. H1Z1 wouldn’t exist if not for Day Z. I don’t want to run from that.

Finally, he mentioned that the game won’t one for the weak:

Yeah this isn’t a game for the weak. If you liked Dark Souls you’ll like our game.

The more I read about H1Z1, the more I think that Sony Online Entertainment will finally manage to make me enjoy a zombie game, which would be a quite relevant feat. And no, The Last of Us doesn’t count. Those aren’t zombies.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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