Developer Daybreak Games wants H1Z1 to keep growing. To do so, they need to wrestle back some the players that left for PUBG. But that’s going to be a huge uphill struggle. PUBG’s popularity helped carry H1Z1 to higher player numbers at first. Those numbers have since peaked and are starting to fall. While PUBG’s popularity is only surging higher.
Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene’s fingerprints are all over both games, but PUBG is the one that sits atop Steam as the most-played game today. Why? There are plenty of reasons. Twitch, better dev support, a more polished game, and its own popularity. The question is, can H1Z1 keep growing in a post-PUBG world?
“Our vision is for H1Z1 to be the dominant fast-paced, action packed game in the genre. This is what sets H1Z1 apart from its competition. PUBG is very clearly a slow paced, tactical experience. And they have certainly delivered on that vision. But ours has always been and will continue to be based on fast paced & action packed moment to moment gameplay,” the devs wrote on Friday.
H1Z1 is more arcadey that’s for sure. But PUBG and any game in the Battle Royale genre plays however you want it to play. Slow and tactical? Fast and furious? It’s up to you. That’s the whole appeal of PUBG. Each match is its own story. Each match always plays out differently.
H1Z1 wants to embrace its fast-paced action and deliver quicker matches and more action in them. The image below highlights where H1Z1 will be in the next few months.
“The goal is to put less emphasis on the tedious aspects of looting and more emphasis on power progression and vehicles to speed up gameplay. We want to keep players on the move,” the devs write.
Embracing quicker matches is a solid idea, and one way H1Z1 can differentiate itself from PUBG.
Tiered weapons are also coming to H1Z1 via mass airdrops. The devs stress higher tiered weapons do not do more damage. They’ll come with attachments like red dots and quick draw mags.
Attachments as loot are not coming to H1Z1.
“Attachments go against the DNA of H1Z1 — they slow the looting phase and how they spawn is RNG. Plain and simple, they aren’t going in.”
Daybreak also touched on loot as a whole.
“You can run through the game, hit up 10 houses, and find zero helmets. Then, on your 11th house, you find 10 helmets and it results in you being frustrated at the game. We have been working on a new loot system to take the RNG edge off of looting, provide a more consistent experience, and get you out of the looting phase and onto the killing phase in a more efficient manner. Now, there is still some level of RNG with loot, but our goal is for you to never feel at a disadvantage by the loot distribution. This will also provide players with the tools to push forward and contest those airdrops we’ve talked about.”
Can H1Z1 compete with PUBG?
Nope and Daybreak shouldn’t try to. H1Z1: King of the Kill is still the fifth most played game on Steam. What Daybreak needs to do is not do anything that alienates the current player base while chasing a target they’ll never reach.
The only way to topple PUBG now is with innovation and a whole lot of luck. New setting. New mechanics. And a whole bunch of developer support. PUBG struck at the perfect time. H1Z1 showed the Battle Royale genre was popular. Twitch streamers pushed it to a huge audience. And the developer (Bluehole) delivered timely updates and hotfixes.
No one thought PUBG would become more popular than DOTA 2. At least, not this fast. H1Z1 should focus on the audience they have. Good word of mouth helped PUBG get to where it’s at today. And good word of mouth will keep H1Z1 as the second most popular Battle Royale game out there.