Every company wants its own DayZ, and so Sony Computer Entertainment has been prepping H1Z1, which kicked off its Early Access last week. For $19.99 people are getting to play Sony’s zombie survival MMO earlier than most; it’s a game that will eventually be free-to-play.
As can be expected, the Early Access build is not exactly stable, with the servers falling over and other coding issues giving players headaches. The biggest issue, however, are the accusations of pay-to-win (P2W) microtransactions in the game. These P2W mechanics are coming in the form of paid airdrops that contain weapons and ammunition.
During the game’s initial development and marketing, Sony made it clear that there would be no pay-to-win monetisation models in H1Z1. Now that people are playing the game it seems as if things are a little different. This has caused no end of backlash on forums and Reddit, so much so that Sony was chose to offer refunds on the game.
Sony Online Entertainment’s John Smedley held out the refund olive branch on Reddit, but the offer for a full refund was given a limited time. That time is now up as it ended yesterday, Monday 19 January. Despite offering the refund, Smedley went on to defend SOE’s decision to monetise airdrops in H1Z1 stating that the team had been showing this form of microtransaction during their own internal streams of gameplay. Smedley reiterated that SOE’s intention for the airdrops was for them to be seen as public events, which means that a player who pays for an airdrop can still be killed by rival players while trying to get to the supplies. This, Smedley said, has happened to him. You can read his full statement on the matter over here.