MMORPG.com has an interview up with H1Z1 Lead Designer Terrence Lee, and while it doesn’t address the biggest question we here at MMOBomb would like answered, it does provide at least some rationale as to why the single game was split into two.
According to Lee, the split was made because the game had already, on its own, branched out into two separate games, having “two different communities with two different needs.” Separating the games allowed for a clearer focus for the dev team(s), letting both Just Survive and King of the Kill to “grow in their own distinguished ways.”
Those dev teams, by the way, aren’t just a reshuffling; while there was a split, new staff will be added on “to make sure the needs for both games are met.” One of the primary tasks listed for the Just Survive team is to add more zombie AI, including a “screamer” zombie — which was talked about as coming to the game last July and was “re-announced” in January.
What the interview doesn’t address, though, is why Daybreak has abandoned the notion of making the game free-to-play after it leaves early access. Hardly anyone’s questioning the decision to branch off development into making two games, but why those two games will each cost $20 after being promised as free-to-play? That’s something even a police investigation would have a hard time pinning down.