H1Z1 screenshot from the Auto Royale game mode

H1Z1 was originally supposed to be a free-to-play game, though was changed shortly before it launched in Early Access. After that the developers claimed it would be free-to-play once it eventually left Early Access, but again, all of that fell through when H1Z1 was split into two different games. Just last week H1Z1 finally released from Early Access alongside a brand new Auto Royale game mode, and as expected, it released as a paid game.

However, it wouldn't be H1Z1 if it didn't flip-flop on the issue immediately, and so the developers have now announced that it has gone entirely free-to-play! This is no doubt due to the ever-growing popularity of Fortnite and PUBG, but it still feels incredibly sleazy to advertise and sell a game under the pretense of it being finally finished, only to then turn around a week later and release it for free. I've never been much of a H1Z1 fan, and this sort of anti-consumer behavior is certainly not going to win it any favors any time soon.

My little rant aside, if you bought the game at any point you will find a "H1Z1 Appreciation Pack" in your inventory containing the following items:

Gasrunner Hoodie

Bloom Survivor T-Shirt

Splinter Camo ARV

10 Victory Crates

10,000 Skulls

I have no idea how much those items are worth and whether that's fair compensation, but if you would like to issue a refund you will need to either go through Steam's Customer Service or the Daybreak Customer Support.

To end all of this on a slightly positive note, allow me to leave with you the recent trailer for the seemingly enjoyable Auto Royale game mode: