Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has continued his Reddit charm offensive, outlining the H1Z1 team’s early plans for monetizing the free-to-play zombie survival MMO.
In a post on the game’s official subreddit earlier this week, Smedley outlined a number of microtransaction guidelines that the developer would be following, inspired in part by fan feedback. “We will be selling wearables. We felt like this will be a good, fair revenue generator,” he said. “However, we recognize how important finding wearables in the world is so you’ll be able to find and craft a lot of stuff. We agree that’s something important. We’ve also come up with a pretty awesome idea to let players who kill other players loot stuff. So if a player has a black ski mask and gets killed by another player, that player can wear the ski mask for a few deaths. (We have durability in the game. Station Cash wearables won’t degrade at all, but when you loot something, it will degrade.) Please note the original player always keeps their SC purchased wearables.”
Smedley went on to note that the team is firmly against selling guns, ammo, or anything else that will aid in survival, including boosts. They will, however, make emote packs and additional character slots available for purchase. SOE is also considering adding periodically dropped crates in the vein of Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2, with a random cosmetic item inside that can only be acquired by purchasing a key.
In a separate thread, Smedley responded to fan concerns that the zombies would offer much less of a challenge than other human players—a criticism often leveled against H1Z1 competitor Day Z. He offered reassurances that challenging AI enemies will be a high priority, indicating that the team even wants to outdo to notoriously difficult From Software Souls games. “Zombies [don’t equal] ‘yawn’ in our game,” he remarked. “They are deadly. Many times they come in number. They are not to be trifled with. We want to make a hard game. We think Dark Souls is for wimps.”
H1Z1 is scheduled to launch on Steam Early Access within the next few weeks with a $19.99 price tag. A window for the full, free-to-play launch has not yet been announced.
Though not yet official, a PlayStation 4 port of the game is widely expected to follow, with Smedley repeatedly noting that SOE “is a Sony company.” He issued similar statements with regard to Everquest Next before it was confirmed for the console.