It had been hinted at for some time that Sony Online Entertainment was working on… something sandbox-flavored. Today, we finally got confirmation and some juicy, juicy details, direct from the mouth of John Smedley, who went on Game Talk Live to spill the canned beans.

The name “H1Z1” refers to a virus that spawns a plague of — yep — zombies that players will have to outwit, outrun, and outmaneuver to survive. Oh, and there will be other players trying to do the same — while also trying to kill you and take your stuff.

“Everyday life in the Apocalypse means dealing with all kinds of wild animals and the brutality of other survivors,” Smedley said, “as well as finding your next meal and a safe place to sleep. It also means scavenging or crafting anything that can help you live just one more day.”

If all of this sounds familiar to you, well, you’re not alone. “Zombie survival” is a still-new genre essentially created by DayZ and continued by games like Rust, Project Zomboid, and (sadly) The War Z/Infestation: Survivor Stories. In addition to the basic “kill or be killed” gameplay, SOE will include tools, via their Forgelight engine, for base-building, weapon-crafting, and a player-driven economy, and will also be hosted on centralized servers, some potentially supporting different rule sets. While the world will start out as fairly small, Smedley promises that it will grow to a truly massive size, including “urban cities and desolate wide open places. All connected seamlessly.” You can read Smedley’s description of the game here.

Also, you can set things on fire. Because why not?

So, we’ve got a free-to-play DayZ, in the PlanetSide 2 engine, with elements of EverQuest Next/Landmark. That sounds pretty good to me. How about you?

UPDATE: John Smedley has taken to Reddit to ask about people’s opinions on how H1Z1 can be monetized. Make your voice heard here!

14 Readers Commented

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  1. Tooks on May 3, 2014

    I doubt the author is going to read this comment but just an FYI Project Zomboid was in development before DayZ was so claiming PZ “continued” in the genre is slightly misinformed.

    PZ was there first DayZ is just a more commonly known game.

  2. hatepvp on April 18, 2014

    Ruin this one too with the damn pvp!

  3. gabe on April 15, 2014

    were can I download.

  4. fdp on April 15, 2014

    i wan’t wizardry pve server gtfo cliche zombie game

  5. mmhmm on April 11, 2014

    its too damn bad its a sony game. i hate sony. they shut down all the good games that are still making good capitol and get fat while not giving a fk about anything other than their pockets with short attention spans. bummer

  6. GamingMaster on April 10, 2014


    SOE should do a game which is open world & third person shooter something like GTA but not something like APB reloaded because APB sucks…

    and they might close down APB reloaded once and for all! that would be a good day!!

    • Eviil on April 10, 2014

      Holy jesus! how i pray

  7. Bob on April 10, 2014

    Viral ? they whish, another lame ass Zombi Survival Game *yawn*

    • BC on April 10, 2014

      Simple solution, go back to ur braindead Moba games or counter strike if you dont like this genre.
      I can play it any day, every day.

  8. BC on April 10, 2014

    Give give give give give it to me real hard.
    thats what she said

    • BC on April 10, 2014

      Though i hope a proper one like Project Zomboid,
      not like anti social, repetative, kill all people “Daisy”.

  9. Annonymouse on April 10, 2014

    Sounds very promising, I hope they execute well on this idea.

  10. worldtraveler on April 9, 2014

    well this sounds almost nice to be excided
    i whish someone make open wolrd mmo with post apocaliptic them (something like fallen earth)

  11. some guy on April 9, 2014

    While I love me some survival horror, this game sounds like it’s still extremely early in development. What’s worse is it’s made out as if it’s going to be released too early with the promise of expansions soon to come. Ah well, we’ll see when it works out I suppose. Thanks for the heads up.