Sony Online Entertainment’s zombie survival MMO H1Z1 might be releasing through early access in a few weeks, but the developer still hasn’t figured out exactly how the free-to-play model will work.
Don’t worry, the team isn’t procrastinating. They just wanted input from fans to help build the fairest, most enjoyable model possible.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to solicit ideas from people interested in H1Z1 regarding how we monetize it,” SOE president John Smedley wrote in a post to the game’s reddit community. “You will be surprised to hear we have intentionally left the decisions about what to monetize until we can hear from you. This isn’t some contrived thing. I’m being serious. It is a nearly blank slate.”
Smedley did, however, outline the basic principles the team wants to follow, and they’re about as promising as you could hope for. “The game at it’s core is about survival,” he explained. “Our preference is not to sell ANYTHING that can help with that. If this game is too hard for you play another one. We don’t want to give shortcuts for our core mechanic.” That means, among other things, no way to purchase weapons in lieu of finding or crafting them and an emphasis on “wearables,” presumably cosmetic-only clothing and accessories.
At the moment, Smedley has responded to several suggestions from fans, but only one has garnered a particularly telling response: pets. “Oh we like pets,” he said, throwing in a smiling emoticon for good measure. “Stay tuned.”
H1Z1 will launch through early access roughly a month to six weeks from now with a $19.99 price tag, eventually transitioning to whatever free-to-play model the team decides upon. The game is currently only slated to come to PC, but a PlayStation 4 release hasn’t been ruled out.