"That's nice, dear," is my usual response to boasts of big business numbers. They rarely reveal much interesting unless you're really into the nitty-gritty of #business (in which case, fair play to you). Why do I raise an eyebrow at news that H1Z1 [official site] has sold over one million copies?
Well, while many (me included, probably) have muttered that the Early Access open-world zombie multiplayer survival genre is overcrowded with folks leaping on DayZ's bandwagon, it's evidently vibrant enough for a million folks to pay at least £15 for a game which will be free-to-play when it eventually launches. I'm surprised.
"We have sold over 1M copies of H1Z1 on Steam!" goes the short and simple tweet from Daybreak Game Company president John Smedley. H1Z1 launched on Steam Early Access only two months ago.
"Wait, Daybreak Game... what?" you may ask. Ah, yes. In case you missed the news, I'll repeat: Sony recently lopped off its MMO-y arm Sony Online Entertainment, the limb behind EverQuest and PlanetSide and H1Z1 and all that, and sold it to an investment company. The transition was bumpy, including a fair few layoffs.
So how come H1Z1 is doing so well when, to a casual observer, it seems to be doing just the same old DayZ thing? Well, for starters, it does have PvE servers where no one can murder you horribly. The horrible murder is a big draw of the genre for many, of course, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. It's craftier too, and apparently people like crafting things - our Alec was one of them when he played. It's got some interesting premium PvP modes as well, like the last-man standing 'Battle Royale' mode which slowly pushes players into smaller and smaller area.
I haven't played it, mind, so please do share your thoughts, observations, hopes, dreams, loves, fears, secrets, and credit card numbers with me.