If you head on over to Twitch and check out any H1Z1 streams lately, you’ll probably find that a high percentage of the active streams at any given time are people playing on Battle Royale servers. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with this game mode in Daybreak Game Company’s free to play survival game, Battle Royale air drops players onto the map and, simply, the last person standing wins. You have a period of time to gather items to help defeat other players, but as time goes on the map shrinks to force players into tighter quarters. It’s actually a fun game mode.
That said though, the majority of players have shifted to Battle Royale play simply because the base game itself is so lacking right now, and that’s fine…it’s Alpha…but wait, if it’s still Alpha and I had to pay to get into that Alpha, and there’s not much to do yet besides Battle Royale…why would a company try to make me pay to play this game mode? Well that’s exactly what H1Z1 will be adding in a few weeks, a subscription fee for Battle Royale.
To be clear, you still have the option to use Event Tickets to access Battle Royale, but if you don’t want to use them, $6.99 a month can get you unlimited Battle Royale access each month. Arclegger detailed the plan on reddit and also details changes being made to how players are rewarded in Battle Royale skirmishes. All in all, it’s not a bad option…for a game that’s fully launched and has taken care of the hacks and bugs that an Alpha normally comes bearing. H1Z1 hasn’t yet, and players are (rightfully in my opinion) not happy about this subscription option being added so soon.
The internet always has issues with changes to monetization plans for any game, but in the case of H1Z1’s Battle Royale, it’s hard not to see the player’s perspective on this one.
To put it concisely, players had to pay for Alpha access already. They are essentially paying for the ability to help test a game. In the process of that testing, these players realize that they can spend time in Battle Royale and have fun while the lacking main game continues to be developed. Daybreak Games sees all these players in one particular game mode and decides to monetize that game mode while in Alpha. Simply, players are starting to feel cheated and taken advantage of. They paid to play a free game and test it and now new fees are being added before the game mode even feels polished and bug/hack free. Imagine paying $20 to get in, paying the $6.99 sub, and then having most of your deaths be totally out of your control because of bugs and hacks. It’s frustrating.
Perhaps the scariest part of the reddit post though, is the language regarding the game’s state. Players are constantly told that this is an Alpha and that things are changing and that they shouldn’t be hyper-critical yet. However, Arclegger refers to H1Z1 as “launched” when saying, “First, let me start by saying that we’ve had a lot of great feedback about our BR game mode and have offered it for free since launch (just over two months).” It’s a bit of a different vibe than originally presented.
John Smedley took to Twitter again about 11 hours after his initial tweet to say that the team was hearing player feedback about the change and that the team would review their plan today.
We’ll keep you updated on this post with any plan changes.
UPDATE: 12:45 PM Eastern 3/20: Smedley took to reddit to explain that they are going to hold off on implementing the subscription option based on player concerns about the current level of quality available in Battle Royale mode.
(Thanks to Dicecoldfire)