H1Z1 microtransactions will only include things that are "fair"

Sony Online's president runs down the current thought process on in-game purchases.

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Recently revealed free-to-play MMO H1Z1 will be home to "fair" microtransactions, according to Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley.

Smedley, who has been extremely transparent about the development process and actively soliciting feedback from fans on Reddit in particular, recently shared some of the details from Sony's first meeting on monetization. These decisions are critical to the game's success, both because they will be Sony's only way of making money and because they could turn players off if they are deemed unacceptable. Smedley made sure to highlight the fact that Sony is working hard to ensure the game's microtransactions are "fair."

Among the things that will be sold for real-world money are advanced emote packs (basic emotes will be free), item crates, and character slots, the latter of which he said "feels reasonable."

What will definitely not be sold are things like guns, ammo, food, and water, nor boosts related to any of those things. "That's kind of the whole game and it would suck in our opinion if we did that," he said.

"We will be selling wearables. We felt like this will be a good, fair revenue generator," Smedley explained. "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." He went to explain how players will be able to loot purchased items--like a black ski mask, for instance--from a player they kill and use it for several deaths, at which time it will degrade and disappear. Items purchased with real-world money, however, will not degrade and will always be available to their owner at a locker, even after dying.

Without going into specifics, Smedley said a Reddit discussion thread on monetization "has turned out to be a terrific source of ideas and it also is helping us steer clear of the stuff you just don't want to see." He promised more details would be coming later this week following another internal meeting on the subject.

Commendably, Smedley has not shied away from the observations that H1Z1 bears similarities to DayZ. He addressed them head-on on Reddit, complimenting DayZ and acknowledging the inspiration before highlighting the things that set H1Z1 apart, such as being able to build structures.

H1Z1 was announced earlier this month for PC. Prior to launch, it will be able in Early Access for $20, although players will be able to wait for the proper release, at which time the game will be free to download and play

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

100 comments
memenotu
memenotu

Not touching this game, horrible setting for an MMO which needs to be made with longevity in mind. How long can a person play a game with just Zombies and players to kill before becoming bored out of their mind?

zombiefreak47
zombiefreak47

how do you expect the company to make money without cosmetic items, its like LOL with skins no advantage just skins

seanwil545
seanwil545

Ah...the Gillette shaver model once again.

Sell the razors dirt cheap, make money off the replacement blades.

cjtopspin
cjtopspin

Chris Pereira wins for best avatar pic ever.

Mafon2
Mafon2

No! We're totally gonna charge for unfair advantages, also graphics will suck and net code will be utter crap.


*sarcasm was enabled*

obenns
obenns

Would prefer to pay a 1 time fee or a subscription than fill it with all the 'buy me buy me' garbage.

jasongm
jasongm

I was sure this was a PS4 exclusive, it is Sony after all...

xantufrog
xantufrog

I'm not a fan of the F2P model, but this seems like a reasonable implementation. I appreciate their concern about balancing the need to feed their dog and not making a nickel-and-dime-you-to-death machine

swantn5
swantn5

idk i didnt much care for dayz i didnt like the animations that are used it needs more then a ton of work so ill pay attention to this for now i wonder if they well bring it to the ps4/ps3

nyzma23
nyzma23

soe is greedy bastard look at dcuo and planetside 2 you have to pay $15/month if you want to serious play their games

jrcast84
jrcast84

Im excited about this game, the idea of a finished product on a mmo survival horror. no more glitches and hopefully disconnects like DayZ.

bob15x
bob15x

hey look you can pay sony $20 to beta test for them.


wtf is up with that new "service"

kovaras1984
kovaras1984

alot of DayZ copies out there now, just have to wait and see to see if this lives up to the competition

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

The good thing about this game is that it will be on Early Access which means the community can sort out the bugs. I trust the community way more than the developers for that sort of thing. The game will require massive testing.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

We shall see... Many have said this before

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Always great to hear about microtransactions before a game release. Fills everyone with great excitement and trust.

mattcake
mattcake

"players will be able to loot purchased items from a player they kill and use it for several deaths, at which time it will degrade and disappear. Items purchased with real-world money, however, will not degrade and will always be available to their owner at a locker, even after dying."

So 2 friends can beat the system by having 1 buy everything, let his mate kill him and get all his stuff for a few deaths, and the other guy can go back to his locker and dress up again for free.

C- Sony, must think harder to beat the griefers.

mattcake
mattcake

That's a new low isn't it? Charging for Early Access for a game that will be free? And I bet mugs still pay it.

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

Cosmetic microtransactions are the only ones I will tolerate in a F2P and/or non-subscription based MMO model. Well played.

ddmartin2014
ddmartin2014

Fair? Lol no such thing as fair when it comes to micro-transactions. They can dress it up in any way they choose, but buying things instead of earning them in-game hands you an advantage. I'm still hyped to see some gameplay, But micro-transactions and DLC will be the death of gaming. The new MGS is just the start. £40 for a 2 hour demo?....christ

Kooken58
Kooken58

@nyzma23 Really now? It appears me and many others are able to play Planetside 2 just fine without spending a single penny. Maybe its you who can't play seriously?

D0cs
D0cs

@nyzma23  I can't speak for DCUO, but I've done just fine in PlanetSide 2 as a free player. You can still be competitive without paying a dime.

D0cs
D0cs

@bob15x People are always begging to get beta keys or to get a beta invite into new games to try them, so it makes sense as a business to provide that for people who are willing and eager enough.

godhand1942
godhand1942

@bob15x  F2P games always charge for alpha. This is really nothing new. You either get a hard to get free code OR you purchase your way into alpha. Beta is usually where things actually become free.

godhand1942
godhand1942

@eternaldragoonx  or just don't play it? Are you a moron? There are many other games out there that you don't need to touch F2P

bob15x
bob15x

@GSGuy321 ya and it costs you to do that.  That is their job and you have to pay them?  Very anti consumer if you ask me.

Dante-xero
Dante-xero

@Dannystaples14  Would you rather have them not mention microtransactions only to get smacked in the face by them once you play the game?

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

@mattcake Whoopity-doo that guy just wasted time and lost resources so he can look the way he wants.  Seems fair to me and I don't see how getting cosmetic only items can be griefing.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

@mattcake  death results in losing resources and loot. the more you die the more you lose. so your point is invalid. when you start the game you could kill a friend to use his stuff but after that its not worth doing it again since you lose progress every time you die. 

Caldrin
Caldrin

@ddmartin2014 how does being able to an emote like "dance like a fool" give you an advantage ? or how does a pink skirt with yellow stripes give you and advantage...


I have no issues with micro transactions being things like that as they do not give you and advantage in any possible way.. weapons, ammo, med packs and stuff like that would give you and advantage and would be stupid to ahve in a cash shop.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@ddmartin2014
1) Warframe, DOTA2 and LOL pretty much prove your argument as a generalization
2) Nobody forced you to buy Groud Zeroes.


"micro-transactions and DLC will be the death of gaming"
That is rubish. If people gets tired they will stop expending money. DLC and Microtransactions will only be the death of themselves if overused. The same was companies releasing crap and annoying costumers end bankruptcy)

leakingdogmilk
leakingdogmilk

@ddmartin2014  


1) cosmetic items doesn't offer any advantage and they are fair, deal with it.

2) If you paid £40 for ground zero, you got ripped off.


D0cs
D0cs

@bob15x @GSGuy321  SOE have their own in-house QA testers, but in the case of large scale games like this and PlanetSide 2 it's impossible to properly test them without a massive amount of people.


People are willing to pay to get a guaranteed spot in to the game early, so it's just another service they offer to those people.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Caldrin @ddmartin2014  But some skins and things are cool. Cool enough that if they were available in game I'd use them.

Games still don't offer the ability to unlock certain items, because they are behind a pay wall. Which means you are offering gamers something but saying they need to pay again to unlock it.

Whether it offers an advantage or not they are still restrictive. I mean can you unlock all LoL and DOTA skins in game without paying a penny? There will still be people with cool items that are desirable but can only be bought with real money.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Warlord_Irochi @ddmartin2014  I don't think he said he bought Ground Zero's did he? I know the price without buying it as well and know it is a rip off without playing it.

Yeah, a person will stop spending money but as long as there are idiots around spending money they will continue to be added to games. Microtransactions only stop people who don't want to buy stuff from getting items that are bought. There are plenty of games where skins and things are not available unless you pay for them.

Even in WoW where you have a monthly subscription there are mounts and items in game that can only be purchased with real world money.

Microtransactions are dressed up as harmless yet they normally end up being restrictive overall.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@leakingdogmilk @ddmartin2014  They offer no advantage but you still more often than not cannot unlock them in game.

Which makes them restrictive. I want new skins for my characters and to buy new weapons and stuff, even if they do offer no real advantage.

You can't do that if they are locked behind a pay wall.

People buy skins for a reason. They are cool. Microtransactions stop people having access to cool items.

xantufrog
xantufrog

@Dannystaples14

"But some skins and things are cool. Cool enough that if they were available in game I'd use them."

... that's the point. If it was crap, nobody would buy it. They can't give you all the "cool" stuff for free and then expect you to fork out real dough to load up on Gizmondo-themed scarves for your character. 

It sounds to me like you want everything awesome to be literally free. Don't we all, right?


They need to make money somehow - either you are going to pay for the cool skins up front with $60 in the form of "you bought everything about the game, even they stuff you won't ever use" OR you are going to pay for them for little "costume/skin packs" as desired. They could give you the costumes free, but charge for better weapons - is that what you want? Because that actually breaks the game - THAT is pay to win.


Caldrin
Caldrin

@Dannystaples14 Games have got to make money at the end of the day. The items they have suggested will be in the shop will give you no advantage at all..


Can you unlock everything that is in the DOTA 2 shop in game ? All the items, all the show tickets, team penants and so on?

Games cost a lot of money to make and also multiplayer games like this cost a lot of money to host.. the company needs money coming in to keep the game running. Having an optional cash shop with cosmetic items only is fine by me.. Dont get me wrong if I had a choice I would say go back to being sub based and have everything available in game.. I would be 100% fine with that.

trotz75
trotz75

Yeah but u have to buy cod for 50-60 bucks, these games are free, so with the money u save it's not a lot to buy a few in game items

GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

@Dannystaples14 @Warlord_Irochi@ddmartin2014It's still fair, cosmetic items do not give any real advantage ingame, it's just a way to make profit since the game is free to play and its way better than a model that sells items to boost the player.

If you think you look cool with a specific item, buy it, thats the point of this f2p model.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Warlord_Irochi @ddmartin2014  200 mounts which are basically a small tweak on a single original design, like a horse, or a ram. 200 of them which are basically the same horse in different colours.

Not like the flying dragons or the winged horses is it? Those are cool, and microtransactions have locked them behind a pay wall.

Who wouldn't want to fly a dragon? WoW does mount flying better than Skyrim even so if people wanted to fly a dragon they should have played WoW. But they couldn't, because they'd need to buy it anyway.

I'm not saying they BREAK the game, I'm saying they are desirable and microtransactions restrict people's access to them. I buy a game and microtransactions make it feel like you don't have access to everything. 

It is like COD putting the gold weapon camo behind a pay wall. Or Forza saying you can't have your car in matte colours because they cost extra. They don't break the game either but I WANT matte colours and gold weapons.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Dannystaples14 @Warlord_Irochi@ddmartin2014In some cases, yes. But those examples there are exactly the harmless kind; the good one. Those mounts in WoW that you need to pay? there are other 200 mounts in the game. Skins? they are just cosmetic and do not break the game.

Still, if some people want to pay for that it's up to them.

xantufrog
xantufrog

@Dannystaples14 @leakingdogmilk@ddmartin2014 

tough. Either you pay 30-60 for the game and the privilege of all the "cool" costume options, or you pay nothing for the game and then 2-5 for bits and bobs of costume items you want along the way. That's all that's going on here... as Dante said, people making games - especially large scale ones like this - need to pay the bills.


You act like paying for the stupid ski mask you want is a rip-off when the game is free, but it's not a rip-off to pay 60 and monthly subscriptions to get the ski mask? It's all money going toward the same goal: paying for the content.


Look, I think microtransactions suck in how they are usually used - I'd rather everything was the pay-one-price-up-front model I grew up with. But this sounds like a very fair implementation.