Z1 Battle Royale

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Z1 Battle Royale
Developer(s)Daybreak Game Company
Publisher(s)Daybreak Game Company
Producer(s)Chris Wynn
Composer(s)Cris Velasco
EngineForgelight Engine
  • Microsoft Windows
  • February 28, 2018
  • PlayStation 4
  • August 7, 2018
Genre(s)Battle royale

Z1 Battle Royale (formerly H1Z1 and King of the Kill) is a free-to-play battle royale game developed and published by Daybreak Game Company. The game's development began after the original H1Z1 was spun off into two separate projects in early 2016: H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill.[1][2] The games were further split as separate projects in October 2017, with Just Survive dropping the H1Z1 name, and King of the Kill becoming simply H1Z1.[3]

After three years of being in early access for Microsoft Windows, H1Z1 officially released as a free-to-play game in February 2018.[4] It was later released for the PlayStation 4 in August 2018. A month later however, development of the game was transferred to NantG Mobile, who attempted to revert the game back to an earlier build from 2017, rebranding it as Z1 Battle Royale. In April 2019, development of the game was given back over to Daybreak.


Z1 Battle Royale was originally released on Steam's early access program on January 15, 2015 as H1Z1.[5] At release, the game suffered from numerous technical issues, such as players reporting that they could not login to their account or enter any active server.[6] A new bug, which made all servers go offline, was also introduced to the game after the developer released a patch to fix other problems.[7] Despite the unstable launch, John Smedley, CEO of Daybreak Game Company, announced that the game had sold over a million copies by March 2015.[8]

In February 2016, it was announced by Daybreak that the game had been split into two separate projects with their own dedicated development teams, with the game being rebranded as King of the Kill while the other became Just Survive.[9] Later that year, it was announced that development of the console versions were paused in order to focus on the Windows version of the game, which was given an official release date of September 20, 2016.[10] However, a week prior release, the game's executive producer stated that due to many features remaining unfinished by then, the game would remain in early access until further notice. As a compromise, the game received a large update on September 20, including many of the features intended for the official release.[11]

A televised tournament for the game, titled H1Z1: Fight for the Crown, aired in April 2017 on The CW.[12] In October 2017, it was announced that the game would be dropping its King of the Kill subtitle, becoming known as simply H1Z1.[13] An invitational tournament was held during TwitchCon at the Long Beach Convention Center the same month.[14] Additionally in October 2017, the "H1Z1 Pro League" was announced, which was a partnership between Daybreak Games and Twin Galaxies to create a sustainable, professional eSports league for the game.[15]

The game was fully released out of early access on February 28, 2018, with updates to combat, gameplay, and a new gamemode known as Auto Royale.[16][17][18] The update also launched "Season 1", introducing a new updated scoring system that rewards players who get kills and place well in matches consistently.[19] A week after release, it was announced that the game would be going back to free-to-play.[20] It was released in early access for the PlayStation 4 on May 22, 2018, gaining over ten million players in over a month, and was officially released on August 7, 2018.[21][22][23] The game features a seasonal battle pass option that offers character cosmetics.[24]

In March 2019, the game was rebranded as Z1 Battle Royale under the development of NantG Mobile. The update reverted the majority of the changes made to the game's mechanics, weapon balancing, and user interface to a build of the game from early 2017. In addition, a new mission system, as well as ranked play, including monthly tournaments between the top 75 players in a region, were added.[25][26] The following month it was announced that the game's development would be handed back over to Daybreak Games, with NantG citing the "many challenges" arriving from the confusion the game caused by having both themselves and Daybreak managing the same game under two separate brands as the reason why.[27]


Z1 Battle Royale is a battle royale game in which up to a hundred players compete against each other in a last man standing deathmatch. Players can choose to play solo, in a duo, or in groups of five, with the goal of being the final person or final team remaining.[28]

Players start each match by parachuting in from a random location above the map. Once they land, they must search for a way to defend themselves. This can take the form of anything from grabbing a weapon and actively hunting other players, to hiding while other players kill one another. Vehicles are placed throughout the world, allowing players to chase down opponents or make a quick getaway. Players can scavenge a variety of supplies from their surroundings, including weapons, equipment, and first aid kits. The game also features a crafting system that allows players to create makeshift tools, such as deconstructing scavenged items into functional bandages or body armor.

As the game progresses, a toxic gas cloud compresses the map, dealing damage to players who remain in it. This effectively makes the playable portion of the map smaller, so that players are eventually forced to confront one another in close quarters. The gas spreads in timed increments, dealing a greater degree of damage in the later stages of the match.


  1. ^ Makuch, Eddie. "H1Z1 Coming to PS4 and Xbox One This Summer, PC Version Getting Split Into Two Games". GameSpot. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Hall, Charlie. "H1Z1 is splitting into two games, headed to consoles". Polygon. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  3. ^ Livingston, Christopher (October 14, 2017). "H1Z1: King of the Kill is now called just H1Z1". PC Gamer. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  4. ^ Livingston, Christopher. "H1Z1 becomes a free-to-play game today". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Brian Albert (December 8, 2014). "H1Z1 early access date revealed". IGN. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  6. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (January 19, 2015). "Sony's H1Z1 plagued by technical issues at launch". Gameindustry.biz. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Crossley, Rob (January 21, 2015). "Server Woes Worsen Following H1Z1's Disaster Launch". GameSpot. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Crossley, Rob (March 24, 2015). "Zombie MMO H1Z1 Hits 1m Sales". GameSpot. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  9. ^ "Breaking News: H1Z1 is Evolving". H1Z1.com. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  10. ^ Makuch, Eddie. "H1Z1 PS4/Xbox One Versions "Paused," as PC Edition Gets Release Date". GameSpot. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "September 20 Game Update". h1z1.com. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  12. ^ Hall, Charlie (February 22, 2017). "H1Z1 tournament to air on The CW in prime-time". Polygon. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  13. ^ "New Look, New Name, All H1Z1". h1z1.com. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "Full TwitchCon Invitational Standings". H1Z1. October 24, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  15. ^ "H1Z1 Pro League – H1Z1 Professional Video Game Esports Tournament 2018". www.h1pl.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  16. ^ Hall, Charlie. "H1Z1 is leaving Steam Early Access right now, adding a new cars-only mode". Polygon. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Game Update: Auto Royale, Season One, Match Rewards & More!". H1Z1. February 27, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Livingston, Christopher. "H1Z1 becomes a free-to-play game today". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  19. ^ "Welcome To Season One!". H1Z1. February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  20. ^ Livingston, Christopher. "H1Z1 becomes a free-to-play game today". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley. "Battle royale game H1Z1 hits PS4 in May". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  22. ^ Nunneley, Stephany. "H1Z1 PS4 beta has over 10M players, remastered Outbreak map hits PC". VG24/7. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  23. ^ Yee, Terrence. "H1Z1: Battle Royale Launches on PS4 August 7". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  24. ^ "PS4 Battle Pass: Season 1 Guide". h1z1.com. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  25. ^ Good, Owen S. (March 7, 2019). "H1Z1 changed its name again, this time to Z1 Battle Royale". Polygon. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  26. ^ "H1Z1 is now Z1 Battle Royale, and it's heading back to a two-year-old patch". PCGamesN. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  27. ^ Chalk, Andy. "Z1 Battle Royale dropped by new developer, returns to Daybreak Games". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Home | H1Z1 | Massively Multiplayer Arena Shooter". H1Z1. Retrieved November 6, 2017.

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