Every year, Sony Online Entertainment brings its fans together in Las Vegas at SOE Live, and this year was its 15th anniversary. PC Gamer sat down with SOE President John Smedley at the event to talk about the future of EverQuest Next, the 15th birthday for the original EverQuest, and H1Z1, its upcoming survival MMO. He also talks about the fate of the MMO subscription model, what separates H1Z1 from DayZ, and the value of emergent gameplay and player-driven storytelling.
It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode four, Cory travels to SOE Live to interview Sony Online President John Smedley and talk Everquest Next and H1Z1. Meanwhile, back at the office, we take a cruise on the Velvet Sundown and Tim chats with UK editor Chris Thursten about their hands-on time with Alien Isolation.
Survival simulators tend to generate a lot of awesome stories, but most of the time when I play DayZ I spend hours just... walking. Eventually I starve to death. It looks like Sony Online Entertainment are devising ways to get players together and interacting in H1Z1, as the airdrop reveal video below demonstrates.
SOE recently showed off its new zombie MMO, H1Z1, with some screenshots of the game’s lovely, snow covered scenery—and word that such blustery weather will affect gameplay. The newest batch of in-game screens shows off the engine's dynamic weather system, and includes new details and explanation of how it works from programmer Ryan Favale, including that weather changes will all be handled serverside.
It's a double-whammy of weather news, courtesy of SOE's John Smedley. The studio's CEO dropped falling facts across Twitter last night, showing a series of snow-covered landscapes from the upcoming H1Z1. In addition, Smedley revealed that weather effects are being planned for Planetside 2.
H1Z1 is SOE’s next game, and the confluence of the Planetside 2 engine and the zombie survival setting has a shot of adding an interesting amount of depth to the walking-dead genre. Jimmy Whisenhunt, senior designer on H1Z1, came by the live Twitch stream show at E3 to talk more about the game’s goals and SOE’s devotion to involving the community in the development process.
There's a Microsoft conference happening as I write this, and—in a tiny window in a corner of my stream—I'm being distracted by the whizz-bang particles and drama of the big-budget shooter. Pft, and maybe even tish, say I. I'll take the decidedly more lo-fi action depicted in H1Z1's survive-'em-up. SOE have released a new E3 trailer showing the range and scope of their open-world alpha.
As reported earlier this year, SOE are today launching their revised All Access Pass. It's a unified service that, for $15 per month, gives subscribers "top-tier" membership across all SOE games. As part of the transfer, individual subscriptions are being dropped; meaning Planetside 1 is now free-to-play. Or will be, at least, once they finish their maintenance period.
I applaud Sony Online Entertainment's transparency lately. The MMO developer and publisher has been extremely forthcoming with new details on H1Z1, its in-development zombie apocalypse MMO. CEO John Smedley has addressed lots of community questions on the game's subreddit, and we're bound to learn a lot of info from the 12 hours of livestream that the development team is doing today.
H1Z1, SOE’s upcoming zombie MMO, continues to draw ideas and feedback from the growing community and new subreddit. In a new post, SOE’s John Smedley has shared some notes from a recent meeting on monetization—that is, how the free-to-play H1Z1 will make money for its developers. The short version: character customization and wearable items will be up for sale.
H1Z1 footage shows that, yep, it looks a lot like DayZ [Update: DayZ similarities addressed in Reddit post]
The Long Dark's creative director reckons the apocalypse doesn't have to feature zombies - but, erm, here's one more open world post-apocalyptic game that does. As announced last week, Sony's entry into the DayZ genre is the wittily (if clinically) named H1Z1, a game that differentiates itself from Dean Hall and Bohemia's game by...well, that part's not totally clear yet, but it's been a fairly democratic process so far. H1Z1 game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt and technical director Tom Schenk took to Twitch a few hours ago to show off the game as it stands now; you'll find 50-odd minutes of walking, zombie-battering, scavenging and driving, in a game that admittedly looks very pretty but so far doesn't seem to boast any distinguishing characteristics.
H1Z1 wants to give us a more personal apocalypse. The upcoming zombie MMO will let players vote to establish and join custom servers, according to a new Reddit post from Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley. The system will revolve around a token system the developer hopes will let it gauge the interest and commitment of the free-to-play game's player base before it ramps up support for a specific custom server.
Well, isn’t this always the way? You wait years for a massively-multiplayer, post-apocalyptic, zombie survival sandbox to come along, then several hundred come staggering over the horizon at once. Next to join their rotting ranks is H1Z1, the new free-to-play MMO from Sony Online Entertainment.
What is H1Z1? We’ve spotted what seems to be a game homepage for Sony Online’s next project. We’ve heard the name H1Z1 before, actually: in January, when we learned that SOE had registered it as a trademark.