H1Z1, SOE’s new zombie survival MMO, has had a rocky launch. That is to say, it’s still stuck on the rocks. Releasing on Steam Early Access yesterday for $20, H1Z1 has had a suite of server issues, including failed logins and complaints of lag. Glitches in the launch of an Early Access game aren’t exactly surprising, but more recently the player base has been complaining that an in-game airdrop item, purchasable with real money, is indicative of a pay-to-win sales model, something the developer had previously said was not planned for the game.
The airdrop calls in a plane that drops a crate of supplies near the player who called it in. The crate can be filled with clothes, backpacks, guns with ammo, and more, all of which are regularly hard to come by. The airdrop sends out a server-wide message letting everyone know it’s coming and a minimum number of 50 players must be on the server to call it in. SOE says these mechanics are in place to make the airdrop less about buying supplies and more about creating a point of contention and action on the server, but some players are crying foul.
SEO President John Smedley took to the game’s subreddit yesterday to address the concerns. He stood by the airdrops being “server events” rather than a purchase of power, and outlined plans to change the way the airdrops work in the next day or so to better reflect that. Some players on the subreddit were still upset by the airdrops’ presence, and Smedley returned today with a “no questions asked refund” offer to anybody who has purchased the game as of 1/16 at 10:30am PST.
“If you feel like the airdrops are an issue for you, you may immediately request a refund,” Smedley wrote, noting that the refund was not through Steam, but rather SOE directly. Anyone who purchased the game in the allotted time period can get a refund before Monday, but SOE is specifically presenting the option to address those who have an issue with the nature of the airdrops. Refunds are requested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.