Despite only being on sale for a little over 2 months – and despite lukewarm reception – H1Z1 from Daybreak Game Company (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) has managed to shift over a million copies on Steam Early Access. That’s according to the studio’s president John Smedley, who announced the news over Twitter late last night.
We have sold over 1M copies of H1Z1 on Steam!
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) March 24, 2015
The game, which is absolutely, in no way, a clone of Day Z, previously found itself in hot water shortly after its release. So-called “pay to win” mechanics saw many disgruntled buyers demanding their money back. This was despite Daybreak previously promising that no such mechanics would exist in the game. H1Z1 will be free to play when it launches later this year, but if you want to get in early, the developer asks you to stump up $19.99/ £14.99.
Whatever you think of H1Z1 – and it’s a game which has certainly polarized opinion – it’s hard not to be impressed by the numbers. Daybreak’s future as a studio had been looking a little uncertain following their split from Sony, with reports of layoffs in February hitting headlines. But the success of H1Z1 seems to indicate that whatever the quality of their latest game, they could at least have the finances to stay afloat.
H1Z1 has also received regular updates, which have seen extra content, mechanics and technical polish added to the game as it shambles ever closer to its final release. Player opinion on the title is still divided (it currently sits at “mixed” on Steam’s user reviews) and the early controversy is likely to cast a shadow over prospective buyers’ perception of the game – but it at least appears that Daybreak is taking their responsibilities seriously by ensuring that their customers receive constant improvements and feedback from the team.