H1Z1 becomes a free-to-play game today

H1Z1, which which left Early Access just over a week ago and added a cars-only battle royale mode called Auto Royale has made another sharp turn in its already twisty-turny development path. At 10 am Pacific today, Daybreak's battle royale shooter will be become a free-to-play game.

Of course, millions of players purchased H1Z1 during its stint in Early Access, and if you're one of them, there's a reward:

"To thank all of our loyal players who helped make awesome, game-changing decisions during our time in Early Access, we'll be rewarding everyone who already purchased the game with the “H1Z1 Appreciation Pack”, containing the following items: 

  • Gasrunner Hoodie
  • Bloom Survivor T-Shirt
  • Splinter Camo ARV
  • 10 Victory Crates
  • 10,000 Skulls

To support H1Z1's new free-to-play model, there are naturally new purchasable DLC bundles being added, which can be bought for $20, $50, or $100 and which contain various skins, crates, and Skulls (H1Z1's in-game currency).

This is the latest twist in an already twisted history. If you recall, H1Z1 was originally conceived as a free-to-play title, back when Daybreak was Sony Online Entertainment and back when H1Z1 was an Early Access multiplayer survival game. King of the Kill emerged first as a battle royale mode for H1Z1, then split off and became a standalone game, at which point plans for both games being free-to-play titles after Early Access were dropped. Now, in a way, we've come full circle. King of the Kill is now called H1Z1, and you can play it for free.