The Battle Royale genre is perhaps the most competitive in the games industry right now, with Fortnite and PUBG comfortably dominating the market. However, H1Z1 – arguably the first popular Battle Royale shooter – has proven that there is still room for other titles in the genre after a promising first day of its PS4 open beta.
H1Z1 has been out on PC for some time, where it enjoyed some success for its last-man-standing approach to gunplay and vehicle combat. Daybreak Games has now ported the game to PS4 under the title H1Z1: Battle Royale, and, given the fact that no end date has been announced for the beta, it seems it will be available for free for an extended period of time.
The success of the beta on its first day – clocking over 200,000 concurrent players – marks a promising turn of events for H1Z1. Despite efforts from Daybreak to set up an eSports league for the game, H1Z1 had lost 91% of its players just three months ago. The figures from the PS4 debut are even more significant still when considering that even at H1Z1‘s peak on PC, it only managed 150,000 concurrent players – significantly less than the PS4 open beta launch.
If this popularity keeps up, or even increases, the PS4 could offer a revival for H1Z1. With its dwindling player base on PC, the game looked to be following in the footsteps of fellow Battle Royale title Radical Heights, which lost 82% of its players just two weeks after launch, leading to the closure of Boss Key Productions.
Despite its impressive player count, however, it was not exactly smooth sailing for H1Z1‘s PS4 debut. Perhaps because of the unexpectedly high amount of traffic, the servers ran into multiple issues; some players were regularly separated from their party members with no explanation, wait times were high, and many were unable to log in to the game at all.
Should Daybreak Games be able to quickly deal with their sever troubles, H1Z1 could have a promising future on PS4. While Fortnite has obviously established itself as the definitive Battle Royale title on the console – even entering partnership with Sony to offer PS4-exclusive content – H1Z1 has the benefit of being the only realistic military-style Battle Royale available on PS4. As such, it will be interesting to see how H1Z1 stacks up against Fortnite in the coming weeks.
H1Z1: Battle Royale‘s Open Beta is free to play now for PS4.