Daybreak Studios (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) announced surprising news for its zombie survival title on Friday. The game is being split into two separate releases, with one focused on the pure survival game and the other turning the popular Battle Royale mode into a stand-alone experience. The studio also revealed a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release is coming this summer for the spin-off.
“The more we developed this game with you, our community, the more we realized that in order to fully support both aspects of H1Z1, and their respective players, we needed to make them their own stand-alone games supported by their own dedicated development teams,” Daybreak explained. “Many players in the community have been discussing splitting the game and we’ve heard you loud and clear. We want to make sure we give both titles the support they need and deserve to truly flourish.
“So, we’ve decided to do just that – we’re excited to announce that the survival game will now be called H1Z1: Just Survive, with a renewed focus on truly delivering a persistent, open-world zombie survival experience where scavenging, crafting, and base building are the difference between life and death.
“We’re also excited to announce that the fast-paced shooter comprised of multiple, fight-to-the-death game modes, including Battle Royale, will be called H1Z1: King of the Kill (KotK).”
For those who aren’t familiar, the Just Survive part of H1Z1 follows the survival formula established by rival games such as DayZ. Players are dropped into a Colorado-esque section of the United States overrun by zombies. They will have to scavenge for items to craft clothing, weapons, armor, and food to survive while also building a base. The hook comes from the tension of playing around other humans and not knowing whether to trust them or to shoot them on sight.
King of the Kill will use the Battle Royale mode, which has quietly turned into a success story for H1Z1 and Daybreak. Up to 150 players are dropped from the skies with parachutes. When they land, it is a scramble to find weapons, ammunition, and gear to survive a grueling deathmatch to become the last player standing. Hiding to survive can be an option, but toxic gas and bombs dropping during the match encourage players not to camp a single spot.
The split into the two games takes place via Steam Early Access on February 17. Everyone who currently owns H1Z1 will have Just Survive and King of the Kill added to their Steam libraries with their own separate game listings and Steam communities. All existing crates, keys, and items will be duplicated across both games. Meanwhile, Airdrop tickets will only be usable in Just Survive, while Event tickets will be limited to King of the Kill.
Those interested in the PC version of H1Z1 have until February 16 to purchase the game at its current $14.99 sale price as part of the Steam Lunar Sale. When the split occurs, both H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill will be sold for $19.99 each as Early Access titles.
Meanwhile, console owners can look forward to H1Z1: King of the Kill arriving sometime in summer 2016 as part of an official release when it exits Steam Early Access. There is no announcement about when Just Survive will exit Early Access. More details on both launches will be shared in the future, but it has been a long wait for console owners looking forward to the game.
H1Z1 was first announced by then Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) in December 2014 as a Steam Early Access title with plans for a PlayStation 4 release. Sony sold SOE a little more than a year later and changed its name to Daybreak Games. The studio also revealed that it would bring titles like H1Z1 and Planetside 2 to the Microsoft console.
DC Universe Online was recently announced as the first game to reach the Xbox One, which will debut on the console sometime in the second quarter of 2016.
What do you think of H1Z1 splitting into two separate titles? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Daybreak Games]