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Daybreak Reveals More About Splitting the Game in Two

William Murphy Posted:
Interviews 0

Daybreak Game Company caught much of the H1Z1 community off guard with yesterday's announcement that the game would be splitting into two different versions, H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill. We had the chance to submit a few questions to the team to get more of the particulars behind the decision and about what players can expect. Lead Designer Terrence Lee took time out of his busy schedule to answer.

MMORPG: Why the decision to split the game H1Z1 into two separate titles?  

Terrence Yee: We released H1Z1 on Steam Early Access January 2015, and over the course of development, we started to notice that a clear distinction was forming between the Survival game (now known as Just Survive) and what we now call King of the Kill.  Two different communities with two different needs had formed, so we made the decision to separate the games, which allows us and the players to have a clearer focus for each product and lets them grow in their own distinguished ways. 

MMORPG: Why the need for two different development teams? Is it splitting the team in two, or are you hiring new folks for each? 

TY: King of the Kill and Just Survive are two unique gaming experiences, so it’s important to us to have dedicated development teams for both. We’ve assigned folks to each team AND have new hires to help out as well.  Daybreak has hired some great talent recently and is expanding even further to make sure the needs for both games are met. 

MMORPG: Does this mean H1Z1: Survive will become the "MMORPG" survival game it was originally intended to be, with loads of people per server, progression, and all of that? 

TY: Just Survive development will be focused on creating an open-world survival game, which includes scavenging, crafting and base building. Early Access means we get to develop the game with community guidance, and we really want to work with them to deliver the features and experience they want to have.  

MMORPG: What changes can we expect to see come to Survive in coming months?  

TY: The most immediate changes player are going to see are with the zombies. We’ve made some great improvements to the AI and we’re adding some variety to the zombies available, including a Screamer zombie.

MMORPG: King of the Kill sounds like you're hoping to make the game become a real eSport contender. Is this the goal? What changes can we expect to see? 

TY: King of the Kill is a highly competitive game that’s all about the spectacle – not only is it fun to play, it’s fun to watch. Beyond Daybreak-ran tournaments like the Invitational we did at TwitchCon last year, we want to empower our players to create their own competitive experiences through features like player-hosted games and structured organized play.

MMORPG: Will there be more games in the H1Z1 brand? Please, just no MOBAs. 

TY: The team is really focused on Just Survive and King of the Kill, but of course there are always possibilities for H1Z1 as a franchise.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.