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