King of the Kill, the multiplayer Battle Royale mode that spun off from H1Z1 to become a standalone game, will leave Steam Early Access on September 20. The price is rising to $29.99, but developer and publisher Daybreak Games has announced that the current price of $19.99 will remain as long as the game is in Early Access, meaning you'll be able to buy it for the lower price right up until launch day. You can watch the announcement trailer above.
I got to watch developers play a round of the latest build of King of the Kill during a private Twitch session (I had been invited to play myself but couldn't make it) and I did see a number of improvements from the last time I played. The UI looks better, inventory management is simpler, and I also noticed lighting improvements that make the game look significantly crisper. There's also some slick integration planned that will allow players to connect their Daybreak and Twitch accounts, so streamers and their fans can easily enter team matches with each other.
Most notably, the vehicle physics have been completely overhauled. I watched one developer race a Jeep around for several minutes, and at no point did it flip over and skate across the pavement upside-down after hitting a tiny bump (as ). The handling is different for different vehicles, and the cars now look fun, rather than frustrating, to drive.
The launch will include a new map called The Arena (Early Access playtesting will begin on September 2) and for competitive esports players, King of the Kill will also introduce a season system, though a start date and season length haven't been determined yet. The H1Z1 Invitational will take place on October 2 at Twitchcon in San Diego.