Before PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale came along and nabbed up most of the players, Daybreak Game Company's H1Z1 was the top dog when it came to battle royale. However, even with H1Z1 coming out of the Steam Early Access program and officially launching on February 28, its player numbers continue to dwindle compared to the behemoths it competes against.
Now, the developer has announced that H1Z1 will go permanently free-to-play, with the change set to occur at 10am PT today on Steam. Speaking regarding the decision, H1Z1 general manager Anthony Castoro said that "Not only does this decision allow us to share our version of Battle Royale and Auto Royale with even more players, but it signifies the next step in making H1Z1 a must-watch esport."
To the players who purchased the battle royale title beforehand, the developer will be giving away some goodies in the form of the 'H1Z1 Appreciation Pack'. This bundle comes with the Gasrunner Hoodie, Bloom Survivor T-Shirt, Splinter Camo ARV, 10 Victory Crates, and 10,000 Skulls.
Meanwhile, Daybreak will be introducing three new DLC bundles to Steam after the free-to-play switch, which will come in Bronze, Silver, and Gold flavors for players to purchase, bringing loot crates and other cosmetic items.
As previously mentioned, H1Z1 will be completely free to download and play via Steam beginning at 10am PT today, giving everyone the opportunity to play the old tried and tested battle royale mode and the new vehicle-only Auto Royale mode without spending a cent.