Sony Online Entertainment, the makers of notable Massively Multiplayer Online games such as Everquest II and The Matrix Online, have unveiled their newest project. Titled H1Z1, this new Free-to-play MMO will see players fighting to survive a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by an infectious disease that turns its victims into, surprise surprise, zombies.
H1Z1 takes its name from a 2009 internet bogus that claimed that the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as the swine flu, had mutated into a zombifying version called H1Z1. A teaser site for the game has been put up, featuring a fog-covered town accompanied by a creepy soundtrack, as well as a link to the official subreddit for the game. Among the various threads on the page is one containing a list of known details about H1Z1:
- First Person or Third Person shooter
- Zombie Survival
- Night is dark and full of terrors
- Player versus Player at it’s core.
- More than just zombies in the world
- Base Building, Town building, Fortress creation
- Can burn down things others build.
- Lots of crafting. Probably the biggest thing about the game.
- Vehicles are already in. Possibility of aircraft in the future.
- Based off the United States.
- If you die, you lose your gear
- “No skills or levels”.
- “Thousands of players”. I’m willing to bet this will be larger, playercount wise, than planetside 2.
- PC first, PS4 later. “Well, we are Sony” when asked about the PS4 version.
- “If you can run Planetside 2, you can run H1Z1 better”.
- “Orders of magnitude larger than Planetside 2”.
- Based of Planetside 2. Shares no tech with Everquest Next (so no Voxels).
- Built in voice chat options.
- Free to play
- Part of the All-Access subscription that SOE is launching this month. $15/mo for premium sub in all SOE games.
- “you seriously don’t need to spend a dime. We’re still figuring out the monetization but we will telegraph our plans early and let people comment and we’ll listen if they don’t like something and come to a place where people feel good about it.” -Smed, in this thread
- Early Access ($20ish, on steam) in 4-6 weeks.
When asked how H1Z1 intends to stand apart from similarly designed competitors, namely Day Z and Rust, SOE President John Smedley had this to say:
“First off, it’s a persistent MMO that can hold thousands of players on servers we host (yes there will be multiple servers with very different rule sets). Why is that a good thing? It means a thriving economy (oh yes… there’s trading). It also means you have potential allies in the all-out war on the Infected… and many an enemy as well. It uses our proprietary next-gen Forgelight engine and that means we’ve had a lot of really cool technology to work with to make the game we wanted to make […] We want you to be able to form roving gangs that are headquartered out of an abandoned warehouse that you’ve taken over… or a house you’ve built from scratch after having cut trees down and secured the resources to make it. We are giving players the tools to make their own towns, camps and defenses, and they can decide how to set up their base (which is in the world, by the way, not instanced). We’re building in all the social features you’ve come to expect from an SOE game (grouping, proximity voice chat, voice chat for your gang, and many other cool social features).”
Early Access for the PC version will be available within the next four to six weeks for $20, and a PS4 version will be released after the PC version. System requirements for the PC version have not been specified, but Smedley has stated that anyone who can meet SOE’s other MMO Planetside 2‘s requirements should be in good shape.