Daybreak, the studio formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment, has decided that forcing its Early Access players to pay a monthly fee to play H1Z1 was a very bad idea.
The news revolves around the game’s Battle Royale mode, a highly popular endurance mode in which players must outlast one another while the game world becomes increasingly dangerous as a result of pockets of poison gas. It was initially a mod for Arma, and was ported over to H1Z1 by its creator, a user named PLAYERUNKNOWN.
At first, players could gain access to Battle Royale rounds by earning tickets. These tickets could either be purchased with real money, found within PvP or PvE servers, or won by being one of the top 30% scorers in a previous BR match.
Realizing the financial potential of this mode, Daybreak then changed things so that you would now have to be the top scorer in a BR match to earn a ticket. They then announced that they would also be offering a monthly pass for BR at $6.99 that would grant unlimited access to the mode. The mode would also receive several adjustments to cater its reward system towards those who choose the subscription model.
One has to wonder what form of madness was plaguing the minds of Daybreak’s staff, as H1Z1’s users responded, quite predictably, with outrage. One of the top rated comments on the reddit thread announcing the changes reads: “Not only is [the subscription plan] pretty steep, it’s also bad, sleazy and a big f**k you to us.”
In response, Daybreak promptly backtracked on their plans for BR and made a new announcement:
We’ve listened to your feedback. It came through loud and clear. From our perspective we’ve been really super clear about our plans from even before day 1 regarding this. What’s also clear though is that you expect more from us in terms of quality level so that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll focus on bugs, awesome new stuff and adding a ton of features to BR and our main game to make you feel like you’re more than happy to pay for it. Only then will we charge for it.
Response to the announcement has been lukewarm with a hint of bitterness, as the top user comment in the thread reads:
Everyone knows you’ll be charging for BR.. What was not expected was to be charged DURING EA while we’re HELPING you test the very system you want to charge us to play, by already PAYING for the privilege of helping you test what will ultimately be free.
This isn’t the first time Daybreak have aroused the ire of its fanbase, as last January they stirred up trouble their a pay-to-win element in the form of airdrops.