It has now been 24 hours since the early access for Sony Online Entertainment’s (SOE) zombie survival game, H1Z1, has opened up. Those 24 hours have seen a myriad of login issues, bugs, and other game “breaking” mechanics. That’s to be expected from a free-to-play game that is still tagging itself as being in an “Early Access Alpha.” SOE President, John Smedley, even warned players ahead of time that if they expected a smooth ride right out of the gate they would be better served skipping the early access buy-in period.

Outside of those expected issues though, another controversy has emerged: Airdrops. On paper, airdrops sound like a pretty cool event, in my opinion. Players can call in an airdrop, a plane flies by a drops a crate of supplies, and players on PvP servers can nuke each other trying to get the supplies, even robbing the player that called the airdrop of the supplies. The airdrop itself has a chance to drop a plethora of items, including guns and ammo. Cue the controversy.

Airdrops are a cash shop item only at this time and, initially, were dropping guns and ammo at a MUCH higher rate than intended. This led to a very vocal playerbase taking up the pitchforks and yelling, “P2W!” Previous statememts regarding guns and ammo not being a cash shop item and comments in streams and videos seemed to conflict. While the recent statements in streams did call out that these drops could contain ammo, they were harder to find and, in fairness, you had to be a close follower of H1Z1’s development to know about this change prior to early access launch.Since the outcry, John Smedley has authorized refunds to those players who really just don’t want this type of mechanic in the game. Sr. Game Designer, Adam Clegg, has also taken to reddit to clarify his previous statements and to detail the changes to airdrops being made ASAP, changes John Smedley previously mentioned on Twitter.

Clegg’s outline details the speed changes of the airdropping plane and even gives the drop rates for the various packages that come flying in. Drops that contain actual weapons or ammo are currently set at a 10% chance.

Clegg’s post really clears up quite a bit, but do players still view ANY chance for weapons (that they may not even get themselves) as P2W? Leave your thoughts below!

Mike "Magicman" Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site's current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.


  1. People love to complain. This doesn’t make the game Pay2 Win, it makes it Pay for a chance at an advantage until you die, but that’s about it. Play the game and have fun, I am…..

  2. Said it before, and I’ll say it again. Smedley is a flaming bag of dog shit and nothing he touches will EVER be worth anything.

  3. I have played a bit and I am finding it amazing the airdrops are just a gamble since I have stolen other peoples ones and I personally use them to kill players. Just the risk involved with needing min of 50 people on server to use it and then it luring every zombie nearby to it makes it worth the cost. Now they have said they are making it so there needs to be 100 people which will mean its harder and still fair.

  4. Can this company ever communicate information about their games without stirring up a controversy? PR in SOE seems to be run by a bunch of bumbling clowns more than anything else.
    I mean how hard is it to have talking points? It would save them from a lot of embarrassing moments like this.

  5. Survival zombie game should make server for pve and PvP because all i see in this kind of game is spawn killer …really boring u can t run free without being shot by a team of camper . . .

  6. I bought into the Early-Access myself, only spent $21 though, knowing I wouldn’t probably sink too much time into the game myself, but it was at least worth the try.

    Personally, even with all those special bonuses we got for buying into the game, I didn’t touch a single one yet. Why? because well, it’s a survival game, what’s the fun in trying to survive if everything is handed to you on a silver platter?

    H1Z1 is going to be a free to play title, and everyone knows with free to play, there comes a hefty price, as much as I hate to see games turned into “Pay to Win”, I’m not really sure what else H1Z1 could do to make any profit using micro-transactions. Anything you can think of that can be added into this type of a game could be considered “Pay to Win”. The only thing that comes to mind, is cosmetics, and or different characters, which will probably be offered later on, however, I’m not too sure how many people would plunge hundreds of dollars into a survival game where your cosmetic appearance is going to matter a whole heck of a lot.

    It’s pretty difficult to see anything in H1Z1 micro-transaction wise, go over smoothly.

    I personally enjoyed just running around without touching the Bonus stuff, and even watching “Force Strategy gaming’s” channel on Youtube, as he states, a game in early access shouldn’t even allow access to a micro-transaction shop. I mean, people did just fork over $20-60. Just seems greedy in a way.

    Anyways, Zombie survival games are all the same in my mind, run around, kill one another, jack their stuff, make them quit the game, and that’s about all there is too it. I feel Zombie survival games should have at the very least, different types of zombies, and or dangers, (aside the animals in H1Z1). Would make it less boring, for me anyways.

    • There is a survival game with other monsters than just zombies its called “Savage Lands” it looks more like skyrim than anything.

      Im glad I didnt buy into h1z1 early thats all Im saying about that.


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