Sony wants its PC zombie game H1Z1 to scare you, teases PS4 plans

"We want you to be afraid of the zombies and of other players," Sony Online Entertainment president tells us in a new interview.

by

Sony has an overarching goal for its upcoming zombie-themed postapocalyptic PC MMO H1Z1--and that's to scare you--Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley says.

"If you watch Walking Dead, you will be right at home in terms of the kind of zombies we have and the atmosphere we're trying to create," Smedley told GameSpot in a recent interview. "We want you to be afraid of the zombies and of other players."

Sony announced H1Z1 earlier this month. It is a free-to-play PC MMO with a day/night cycle, a dynamic weather system, crafting system, and a destructible world. The game's zombies are described as "unpredictable," which is probably why Smedley thinks they'll be so scary.

Also in our interview, Smedley revealed that the arrival of competing PC zombie game DayZ spurred Sony to make H1Z1 in the first place. "It's definitely fair to say that DayZ is inspiration for it, absolutely. And, I'll be honest, there's a lot of other games out there that were inspiration for it, too. I would say DayZ was sort of a catalyst kind of thing."

"DayZ did a brilliant job imagining the apocalypse. Now, the way I view it, that's their apocalypse. We've got our own ideas" -- John Smedley

The DayZ standalone has sold over 2 million copies not even six months after its in-development version went on sale late last year. Smedley was quick to praise DayZ, but also made clear that H1Z1 will most definitely be its own game.

"If you're a zombie-loving PC player, you better be playing DayZ, because it's fun as hell," Smedley said. "DayZ did a brilliant job imagining the apocalypse. Now, the way I view it, that's their apocalypse. We've got our own ideas. Our game has got a lot of its own features; not just features but it's got its own feeling. We're going for a very, very zombie-heavy [feel]."

We also quizzed Smedley about why he thinks the zombie genre has remained so popular while other horror tropes, like vampires, have seen their popularity wane in recent years.

"I think [it's] this idea of an apocalypse with some weird virus that we don't know about. There's this little thing in the back of your mind...there's this consciousness; zombies just seem to be part of our DNA as people and it just seems to immediately click with people."

Smedley went on to say that the success of The Walking Dead is feeding the frenzy for zombies in popular media, and that he hopes H1Z1 can capitalize on this enduring interest in the undead. "We're really happy about it because it gives us a background to tell our apocalypse stories in our own way," he said.

H1Z1 launches later this year on PC, first through Steam Early Access, and then as a final product sometime later. But could the game also come to the PlayStation 4 some day? Smedley hasn't ruled it out.

"We're focused on getting it out on the PC first. As a Sony company we're really excited about PS4 and the opportunities we have there," Smedley said.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

59 comments
binbin90
binbin90

zombie games are really saturated now, I do hope they'll be able to deliver

Oggy1985
Oggy1985

Walking Dead is scary and atmospheric?! /facepalm

wdma
wdma

Can't wait for this to come to PS4, Survival horror games are awesome but both DayZ and Rust are made by indie so there will always be a limit in term of contents while SOE is AAA veteran PC devs by definition it should be better than both mentioned above don't get me wrong i do love DayZ and Rust but as i said they need more content  

quaker04
quaker04

More Zombies? I'm way more interested in The Forest. BTW, what was the last PC title that Sony produced? Was it good?

murderusone
murderusone

Only people that Sony has been scaring recently are their stockholders.

glacius_x
glacius_x

Unless its like the Silent Hill games of old, it won't happen.

davidgrey2014
davidgrey2014

I wish someone would do a Good silent Hill or Nightmare Creatures Sequell (no more zombies please)

Stiler
Stiler

Does this mean we can put some chains on a couple and walk around amongst the other zombies?



Sleepyz
Sleepyz

Dayz sucks. Bad controls, bad fighting the 12hr night stuff is retarded. 7 Days to die is a much better game.

wezkilla
wezkilla

the gameplay trailer they released for it a few days ago looked like dog shit pretty much looked like a mod of dayz for arma 2 lol

Psycold
Psycold

As for why people prefer zombies over everything else, for me personally I've always liked them because it's almost impossible to make zombies "sexy" like they do with vampires and werewolves etc. Pretty much any well known monster or creature or entity has at least one terrible chick flick based on some terrible young adult book. I used to think vampires were pretty cool when I was younger (Dawn of the Dead, John Carpenters Vampires etc), but women pretty much ruined them. They did try to make zombies sexy once with that insanely stupid Warm Bodies movie, which thankfully didn't catch on like the vampire-fever did. 

mike4487
mike4487

"zombies just seem to be part of our DNA as people and it just seems to immediately click with people"  .... o___O;


No people can relate to the zombies because at the end of the day when you escape work from the soul sucking soulless corporation you like zombies because you can relate to that same feeling of mindlessness...


That and I hope they can make a compelling game (and if possible available for game consoles).  I am more or less interested in Dying Light because it has the isolated desperate feeling of doom that lingers (and its multi-player is mostly with friends).  I'm not looking for another DayZ which was fun at first but turned into a giant PVP nightmare...


Best of luck... 

sammoth
sammoth

Trying to compete with Day Z. Not happening on PC. Nice Try Sony.

LucentWolf
LucentWolf

Let me channel the PC guys here for a moment.. ( this is purely a joke )


Not on Ps4? No buy!

deadpen
deadpen

They want it to scare you, so I guess they will put in around 200 or so "jump at you" events. Like when you walk by a window and something jumps through it, or walking down a hallway and something jumps through an open door, Then you have my favorite (as seen 50 or so times in Dead Risen 3) walking by a "dead" person and it grabs your foot.

Sanligo
Sanligo

"If you watch Walking Dead, you will be right at home in terms of the kind of zombies we have and the atmosphere we're trying to create."

Teleporting ninja zombies that can appear out of nowhere by the dozen? This game does sound scary.

dannydopamine8
dannydopamine8

I love zombie games but i don't honestly ever think i have ever been genuinely "scared" or afraid while playing on.. I think zombies just exist as bullet cushions.. And i saw h1z1 stream and the zombies run like retards

bldgirsh
bldgirsh

So... I thought console players were saying this was a PS4 exclusive. I am not understanding.

Syphen_bast
Syphen_bast

Oh im scared alright! I'm awfully scared by the zombie animations so far!

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

Uuhmm.....hate to break it to ya but no horror is scary.....

jasongm
jasongm

I thought this was a PS4 exclusive originally... Didn't think Sony still made PC games lol

snake3rules
snake3rules

umm what ... this isnt specifically being developed for ps4 too?!?!

Williams0907
Williams0907

Looking forward to playing the pc version here soon in early access. It has a lot to live up to compared to DayZ

wdma
wdma

@wezkilla  its easy to tell a butthurt fanboy these days

rustybladed
rustybladed

@wezkilla  Go back to reddit man. Rockets gonna need you faithful, Dayz can-do-no-wrong-despite-the-fact-its-been-broken-for-4-years-and-impossible-to-fix guys. h1z1 started this january. It already has more in it that the standalone. Fanboyism only gets you so far, until you look at the facts. They planned on beta in December, and that was before the billion delays they hit. Dont get me wrong, Dayz is unique, and amazing. But the team behind it will be their downfall.

hystavito
hystavito

@Psycold  I think a big reason for zombies continuing, especially in games, doesn't have too much to do with zombies themselves.


People are really eating up games with survival elements and post-apocalyptic settings, which of course play well together since the usual elements of survival like food/water/shelter/security become an issue when an apocalypse destroys our normal systems for providing those.  Zombies are perfect for causing that kind of apocalypse because (in most lore anyway) they are primitive "animals" and do not form their own such systems, but rather only create chaos.


Compare that with most vampire or werewolf lore, they are actually intelligent organized beings, even in stories where the werewolves cannot control themselves, most still retain a human form at least some of the time.  When vampires or werewolves "take over", the resulting situation might be more aptly described as a dystopia rather than an apocalypse.  An example would be the movie Daybreakers.  You might say that in such a dystopia humans still struggle to "survive", yes that's true, but I think you get the idea that there's a difference :).  Maybe a good way to differentiate the two is to say that the kind of survival that is hot in games these days is survival in the wilderness, or in ruined/abandoned environments devoid of most modern infrastructure and technologies.


There are few stories where vampires or werewolves are primitive "monsters" and therefore support that kind of post-apocalyptic world.  The only one that comes to mind is the movie Stake Land, which I enjoyed probably because it was zombie-like and post-apocalyptic :).  I guess another example could be the remake movie I Am Legend, although the creatures were not vampires (in the remake anyway) they were living but altered versions of humans and definitely not zombies.  If you've seen these movies you might be wanting to say something here, but I won't say anymore because I don't want to spoil anything :).

xantufrog
xantufrog

@sammoth This isn't a "console maker trying to break into PC" - SOE makes almost exclusively, typically well-received, multiplayer PC games. I think DayZ needs to live up to their standards, not the other way around

zandrxi
zandrxi

@deadpen These kind of games don't scare me it the people that scare me I get paranoid about them following me finding my base/ stuff....I take crazy path and look around all the time .......nothing like thinking your safe and someone shows up and kills you as you leave your base and takes everything  

rustybladed
rustybladed

@Sanligo  wait what? I stopped watching after like midway thru s.2. teleporting ninja zombies? 


BigBossWato
BigBossWato

@billlabowski  I love PC gaming as much as the next guy but there is no reason to be so inconsiderate, considering the only thing that truly matters is that we all get to play great games. 

xantufrog
xantufrog

@Syphen_bast Yeah they gotta slow it all down. Galloping zombies is not scary - it's just moving stuff for you to reflex shot at.

Kooken58
Kooken58

@jasongm SoE and Sony are completly unrelated. They are still part of the company but while the sony that is responsible for the PS4 is way over in Japan...This Sony is from San Diego.   SoE specializes in making online MMOs. (Everquest 1, 2 and EQ Next,  Planetside 2, Vanguard, and now H1Z1)

pelvist
pelvist

@jasongm  Apart from a few ports for PopCap games that they did for PS3 and Untold Legends, Sony Online Entertainment only make PC games, then they port them to PS4. Everquest Next, Landmark, Planetside 2, Star Wars: CWE, DC Universe Online and many many more. Most of SOE games are PC exclusive.

repetitious
repetitious

Day Z sucked, won't take much to beat it

sammoth
sammoth

@xantufrog Day Z does live up to it. The MOD itself was more popular than most games. The Standalone is still in Alpha. Sony it just trying to capitalize on that market and it won't. This game looks like a big pile of garbage.

rustybladed
rustybladed

@sampson3121  It looks more like Rust and 7DTD. The ONLY comparison is zombies. So based on your logic, Dayz looks just like COD zombies mode. The MOD is STILL more popular than the Standalone, because ppl bought the standalone, then got the mod, for obvious reasons. Sony is a business, and if they think they can do a similar genre better, faster, and with more content, they would be stupid not to. I had faith in Dayz SA until i saw how its development is being handled, and their forums are a complete mess. Modders who bit off more than they can chew.

sampson3121
sampson3121

@sammoth @xantufrog sorry to say, but it looks just like Dayz.

rustybladed
rustybladed

Consoles are the reason PC is still around, ask Gabe Newell. If he hadnt grovelled and paid a TON to console developers to port to PC, you'd have half life 2, and Portal. Thats it.

justinneveritt
justinneveritt

@DarkSaber2k @BigBossWato @billlabowski  Then why don't developers just make games specifically for you "PC master race" folk? Oh wait, they do! And they're on the same level as the console games (aside from the graphics, obviously)... If anything, console gaming is the reason PC gaming is still around

shreddyz
shreddyz

@rustybladed @DarkSaber2k @Williams0907 @repetitious  2 million sold is hilarious for an alpha that is bugged from top to bottom. If that number is accurate, all I can say is wow the hype worked. 

rustybladed
rustybladed

@DarkSaber2k @Williams0907 @repetitious  Yep.Even arma 2 is still broken, after all this time. I doubt that in a years time, they will magically fix the 2.5 engine they are using for dayz, to make a complete game. 2 million copies sold, but only 1 % of player base is ever playing. I think thats worse than not buying at all.