H1Z1 from Sony Online Entertainment is one of the most anticipated games to come out on PlayStation 4 this year, and Sony’s taken an interesting approach to making it a game that players will love and play for a long time. The game is set to release for PS4 later this year, but players can take advantage of the H1Z1 Early Access beta release now on PC.
The game, which envisions a world completely overrun by a disease that turns a large portion of humanity into zombies, is an MMO that pits survivors against the undead in a world where nowhere is safe. While there can certainly be elements of player versus player in the game, the game’s primary design strategy as an MMO is to get players working together to defeat zombies. With the beta release of the game, SOE hopes to take advantage of player feedback in order to create a better gaming experience. This means that the game, as it is now, is full of glitches and bugs that still need to be worked out. But the developers wanted to take an approach that would allows players of the game themselves to have a say in what the game’s final product will look like.
Player feedback is vital to SOE’s strategy to make H1Z1 the best zombie survival game available. Before the game was released in beta, the game’s developers made it clear that players would be playing an in-development game with all of the glitches that an in-development game would entail. That’s certainly been true, and likely more so than SOE realized. H1Z1 Early Access was released for PC on Steam on January 15, 2015, and in the first week, server problems led to extensive outages of the entire game with the gamers who’ve waited and paid for Early Access unable to access. These issues were handled as quickly as possible, but early reactions to the game reveal that development has a long way to go in shaping H1Z1 into the game players are hoping for.
Despite the disastrous launch of Early Access, SOE’s strategy for shaping the game’s development could potentially lead to a much better game. Who better to give ideas on what players want in a game than the players themselves. An official release date has yet to be announced, but H1Z1 is set to release for PS4 later on this year.