Three years ago, back when Daybreak Games was still Sony Online Entertainment, the publisher launched its zombie-themed survival game, H1Z1, onto Steam Early Access. Today, Daybreak Games is officially launching H1Z1 on Steam, alongside a massive new update patch. H1Z1 remains $19.99 on Steam.
To be clear, this is the game formerly known as H1Z1: King of the Kill, the game's Battle Royale mode previously worked on by PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds creator Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene. The game's original mode will still be on Steam Early Access, under the title Just Survive.
"H1Z1 evolved tremendously during Early Access thanks to continued feedback from the community, leading to overhauls to the combat and vehicle systems, the addition of skirmishes and airdrops, changes to the toxicity system and more," said Daybreak in its press release.
The launch update for the game includes a new Tactical Deployment option, letting players choose their spawn quadrant and offering a heat map to show current player spawns. There's a new mini-map option and H1Z1's airdrop system has been revamped to increase drop frequency and item value. Season 1 of H1Z1 kicks off for the first time, with a brand-new scoring and ranking system, moving away from being based on just a user's top 10 games. And all players who purchased the game in Early Access get a special Founder's Item.
There's also a brand-new mode coming to the Battle Royale game: Auto Royale. This vehicle-based Battle Royale mode has 30 teams of four players trying to be the last team standing, not unlike GTA Online's Motor Wars. Players have to manage their weapons, ammo, and fuel to survive. The game mode adds two new vehicles to the game, a sedan and an armored recon vehicle (ARV), and the new light machine gun, which is only available in Auto Royale.
"Auto Royale doesn't rinse and repeat what is currently available on the market, it turns the genre on its head with a fresh approach -- arcadey, vehicle-only battle royale unlike anything anyone has experienced before," said H1Z1 General Manager Anthony Castoro.
While H1Z1 is in full release, Auto Royale itself is still in beta. Daybreak Games will continue to develop the mode with feedback from the community. Players can find out more about H1Z1's launch update from the patch notes and this letter from the game's producer.