H1Z1 monetization plans revealed
Like most games with a free-to-play business model, Sony Online Entertainment's apocalyptic survival game, H1Z1, will rely on microtransactions for monetization. And following the company's first monetization meeting yesterday, we now have a better idea as to what those microtransactions will entail. It should be noted that these decisions are not yet final, as another meeting is planned for Thursday, but it does give us a nice idea for what we will and will not be able to purchase with real-life cash -- a sensitive subject that can often ruin the free-to-play experience.
"We will be selling wearables," revealed SOE president John Smedley. "We felt like this will be a good, fair revenue generator. However - we recognize how important finding wearables in the world is so you'll be able to find and craft a lot of stuff. We agree that's something important. "
Smedley didn't get into specifics, but did give an example of a black ski mask as one of the items you could purchase. H1Z1 will also have a system in place that will let players who kill other players loot stuff.
"So if a player has a black ski mask and gets killed by another player, that player can wear the ski mask for a few deaths," Smedley explained. Item durability will be in the game, except for wearables purchased with Station Cash.
"We have durability in the game," he said. "Station Cash wearables won't degrade at all but when you loot something.. it will degrade. Please note the original player always keeps their SC purchased wearables. This gives the great feeling of whacking some unsuspecting fool who decided to bring a knife to a gun fight."
In addition to selling wearable items, H1Z1 will also let you purchase emote packs (in addition to the basic free ones). Smedley also said it "feels reasonable" to charge for additional character slots.
Survival items, like guns, ammo, food, and water will not be purchasable through microtransactions. "That's kind of the whole game and it would suck in our opinion if we did that," Smedley said.
You'll also find crates scattered around the game. These will be filled "with random cool stuff from the store." SOE is considering letting you see what's inside of the crates before you buy a key (like Dota 2), but Smedley admits the idea "isn't fully locked yet."
H1Z1 was announced earlier this month, and will be coming to both PC and PS4. Although it'll be free-to-play at release, you can opt into the game's early access for $20.