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“Battle royale” is a ubiquitous term in the gaming media right now, constantly finding its way into headlines as more developers and publishers jump on the bandwagon, hoping to find the same success afforded to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. We’ve heard whispers of EA and Activision getting into the genre with Battlefield and Call of Duty respectively, potentially joining projects by Boss Key Productions and however many mods of existing games there are out there. They’ll also join H1Z1, the game Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene consulted on before moving onto his own project.
If you haven’t heard of H1Z1, or you completely forgot about it, it’s hard to blame you. Since September, two games have dominated the conversation, turning the Daybreak Game Company title into something of a distant third-place competitor. But it predates both PUBG and current king Fortnite. It had a rocky Early Access launch in 2015. A year later it was announced the game would be split into two separate projects: Just Survive and the battle royale King of the Kill. That moniker was later dropped and now the mode is simply known as H1Z1.
After three years of Early Access, it officially launched on PC in February and went free-to-play -- an arguably necessary move that pissed off some of its Steam buyers if reviews are to be believed. Next month, the game will make the jump to console with an open beta on the PlayStation 4.