Back in spring 2014, when Sony announced plans to release zombie MMO H1Z1 and revealed that it would feature microtransactions, fans were immediately skeptical about the company’s ability to monetize the game without turning it into a pay-to-win scheme. Now that the game is out, it appears those doubts were well-founded. Despite Sony’s promise that important staples like food, water, guns and ammo would not be up for sale, players quickly realized that airdrops, which contain tools, weapons, and other vital items, required real money.
In response to the controversy, Sony is offering refunds to players who paid the $20 fee for early access to the FTP title via Steam. “If you feel like the airdrops are an issue for you, you may immediately request a refund to [email protected] – this offer applies ’till Monday (Jan. 19) and it applies only to people that have purchased the game as of 10:30am Pacific today 1/16/2015,” wrote SOE president John Smedley on Reddit.
Designer Adam Clegg apologized to an outspoken Reddit commenter over his earlier comments. “When I said you can’t buy guns or ammo, I completely disregarded the possibility of airdrops and meant that you can’t buy a gun or ammo and have it go into your starting loadout, or your loadout immediately like you were buying a gun from the gun store,” explained Clegg. “All that being said, I totally understand how what I said was at the time lying to you guys and I apologize. But please understand that’s not what I was trying to do.”
The zombie apocalypse game tasks players with surviving in an increasingly aggressive world and defending themselves against other players, Mother Nature, and of course, zombies. It is currently in development, and the final edition is expected to arrive later this year for PC and PS4. A release date has not been announced.