In context: Many gamers, including myself, were excited to hear that the hardcore survival game H1Z1 was finally coming to consoles. However, excitement ebbed after finding out that the console version would only be a battle-royale variant of the open-world shooter. The prospect of being dropped off with nothing but your wits in a world full of zombies was squashed by the BR craze.
Developer Daybreak Game Company appears to be doubling down on the battle-royale fad as it announced today that it would be shutting down H1Z1: Just Survive servers in October.
“After careful consideration, we’ve made the difficult decision to sunset Just Survive on Wednesday, October 24 at 11am PT,” the company said in a statement on its website. “Unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to fulfill its greatness and the current population of the game makes it untenable to maintain.”
This decision is unfortunate but understandable considering that the game’s recent concurrent player counts hover at around 1,000.
The game has already been pulled from Steam so no new players will be coming into the fold. Current players can still enjoy the Just Survive until Daybreak pulls the plug. H1Z1: King of the Kill (which will now be called H1Z1 Battle Royale) will continue unaffected.
Unlike competing MMO survival horror game Day-Z, H1Z1 players tend to cooperate with each other more than trying to screw each other over.
"The H1Z1 players I met were almost universally helpful and decent. There was the guy who stole my car full of gear, only to come back when I shouted at him, apologize, and give it back," said Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Rob Zacny in his early review of Just Survive. "Another player kept trying to run me down with his car until I somewhat pathetically said, ‘Hey c’mon man, it took me forever to get here.’ Then he hopped out and started giving me pointers."
However, since there is nothing intrinsically motivating players to cooperate, Rob's experience may have been atypical.
On release to Steam Early Access, the game suffered from various ailments including frame rate issues, no voice chat, and weak AI. Despite these handicaps that game still sold more than one million units within two months according to GameSpot. It hadn't reached a launch-ready state by the time Daybreak added the battle royale mode.
Once King of the Kill was added players flocked to the mode and the decision was made to make them two separate games. Of course this created an imbalance in focus and the BR version not only made it out of Early Access, but was ported to the PS4 as well, leaving Just Survive to languish in it's Early Access state.