H1Z1 is splitting into two separate games, and neither will be free-to-play as originally promised. H1Z1: Just Survive will be an open-world zombie survival game and H1Z1: King of the Kill will be what developer Daybreak Games calls "a fight-to-the-death shooter spectacle." Both games will cost $19.99 each.
Daybreak Games made the announcement today and said the decision to split the content into two games had been led by the community.
"The more we developed this game with you, our community, the more we realized that in order to fully support both aspects of H1Z1, and their respective players, we needed to make them their own stand-alone games supported by their own dedicated development teams. Many players in the community have been discussing splitting the game and we've heard you loud and clear. We want to make sure we give both titles the support they need and deserve to truly flourish."
The announcement did not address the switch from free-to-play.
"This will be a F2P game (after early access). During early access it's going to cost $19.99 to play," said former Daybreak Games CEO John Smedley in 2014.
The new duo of games will still include microtransactions though - "both games on PC will still require Daybreak Cash for optional in-game transactions. There will be a similar currency available when the games come to console; stay tuned for more information."
H1Z1 was released on January 15 on Early Access and by late March had sold one million copies despite launch issues.