Let’s address the question in the title before digging deeper into the hot mess that this game has become. H1Z1 can’t be played offline anymore. It doesn’t even have a single player mode, since that part of the game got shut down.
H1Z1 had two parts, a survival mode, and a battle royale mode. Now, the BR mode is all that remains. This game struggled since its early stages, and its entire existence continued that way. In the process, it left many fans disappointed. Read on for a detailed history of H1Z1.
H1Z1 has a really extensive and complicated history. It was based on a totally different game, DayZ. In fact, this was only a game mode in the game Arma. All of which could be a topic of its own, but let’s focus on H1Z1.
So, H1Z1 was really similar to DayZ in its gameplay. It was an online, post-apocalyptic shooter game, with an open world which was overrun by zombies. The game core is really complex and difficult, as it involved resource management and battling players and zombies for survival. Being so punishing and intense, it quickly gained a big following.
That was the survival part of H1Z1. The game also featured an arena mode, commonly known as a battle royale. This mode was also successful, it had brilliant developers. The maker of Playeruknown’s Battlegrounds helped the H1Z1 team on this project, and you know how successful that game became.
Oh yeah, and the developers of H1Z1 were Sony Online Entertainment. Later they were picked up by a different company and changed their name to DayBreak Game Company. This is when things started going downhill for H1Z1.
The Split into Two Games
In 2016, the H1Z1 we knew got split into two separate games. Mind you, these were no longer game modes, but two entirely separate games altogether. They say that splitting up the community in a game is really bad and has led to the demise of many games in the past.
This turned out to be true for H1Z1, but we’ll get to that later. Anyhow, the people who owned H1Z1 got the copies of both titles. Later on, people had to purchase them separately, which didn’t end well.
The first game, H1Z1: Just Survive was the zombie survival game that we knew and loved. H1Z1: King of the Kill was the battle royale game, which didn’t feature any zombies or survival elements. It was a pure BR game, similar to PUBG.
Soon after, the developers dropped the H1Z1 title, and the survival game was renamed Just Survive. This game didn’t bring much success and unfortunately, it was shut down permanently. The battle royale part is still active, but it’s only a shadow of its former self. The last remaining part of H1Z1 is now called Z1 Battle Royale, and you can find it on Steam, where it’s free to play.
The Shutdown of Just Survive
Just Survive didn’t fare well with the players. It was shut down completely in October 2018 because it was unsustainable. The player counts dropped substantially, meaning that the game lost its audience.
The developers issued a bad apology to the players, and used the early access shtick. Basically, they sold an unpolished game which was in early development, promising their fan base to improve the game, which they couldn’t.
They received major backlash from the community, who felt scammed. And who wouldn’t? Imagine paying money and getting invested into a game, for it to be shut down entirely, without giving you any compensation.
And yes, the people who played the game for less than two hours had the right to refund it, just like any other game on Steam. That just added insult to injury and it made the company look really bad and unprofessional.
In turn, they made a statement: they don’t care about this part of the game because it isn’t profitable, so they moved on to the more successful and more profitable apart, i.e. battle royale mode.
The H1Z1 of Today
Now, all that’s left of H1Z1 is the Z1 Battle Royale, which truth be told, isn’t so bad. How could it be bad, when it was based on a winning formula? PUBG is the most sold battle royale game ever, a record breaker on Steam, and one of the most successful games in gaming history.
Z1 didn’t amount to PUBG’s success at all. It got a new development team, and tried its best to achieve greatness. Let’s take a look at the numbers, shall we? Here’s a screenshot taken from the Steam charts with Z1 stats from the last year:
Laughable, right? Especially when you compare the stats with the game’s launch and early success:
Since July 2017, all that H1Z1 got was a massive drop in players and relevance. Do you want to know why? PUBG launched in early 2017 and blew it out of the water. H1Z1 just couldn’t keep up with the behemoth that PUBG has become.
Frankly, we wouldn’t recommend playing H1Z1 at this stage. This game isn’t worth your time, since there are many better alternatives. If you’re into the battle royale genre, try out Apex Legends, or stick to PUBG.
In case you were more invested in the survival aspect of H1Z1, check out DayZ (current version from 2018), Rust, or Ark: Survival Evolved. Only the last of the three features a single player mode, which is very unique and interesting in its own right. You can go hunting and riding dinosaurs in it!
If you would like to add something to the discussion, feel free to do so in the comments section below.