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Post by Eorl @ 01:44pm 24/04/14 | 3 Comments
Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has confirmed players will not be able to purchase performance enhancing items in the upcoming zombie-survival free-to-play MMO H1Z1.

In a post on the game's dedicated subreddit, Smedley revealed the team had come to several conclusions following its first monetization meeting regarding how Station Cash (the game's premium currency) will be applied. "We will NOT be selling Guns, Ammo, Food, Water... i.e. That's kind of the whole game and it would suck in our opinion if we did that," Smedley wrote. "Nor will we sell boosts that will impact [that point]."

The team will instead sell wearable items in addition to those that can be found and crafted in the game, which they feel will be a "good, fair revenue generator."

In keeping with the survival theme, Sony does plan to allow players to loot items from one another, including those purchased with premium currency. However, the looting player will only receive a copy of the item with limited durability, while the player that purchased the item will keep their original unbreakable version.

The president of SOE also outlined several new game details, including first and third-person perspectives with vehicles in third-person only. Smedley also commented on the rather common comparison to DayZ, stating that H1Z1 "is a survival in a Zombie Apocalypse game. So is Day Z. [Bohemia Interactive] have made a brilliant game (first I might add). They have a great vision for it and can count myself and most of the people on our team as fans and contributors."

Check out both the monetisation Reddit post and the Q&A post for a whole smorgasboard of info on the game, and hopefully we'll be seeing some more solid gameplay soon.

Latest Comments
Posted 03:31pm 24/4/14
SOE have handled Australia rather poorly recently, so I'm wary of this one. The Australian Planetside 2 server has been unplayable during peak time for several months now, and they don't seem to care. The developers definitely allocate their time heavily to the US and EU player base.
Posted 05:57am 25/4/14
"wearable items" So camo? I fairly sure that camouflage is a game changer and gives someone an advantage.. Idiots.
Posted 06:10pm 28/4/14
Sad as it is the EU has a population of over 500 million people and the US has over 300 million. 0.8 of a billion people would (and from a business point of view should) get more attention than a country of 22 million which shares no borders with another country (Canadian could still connect to US servers without the problem an Australian would because they are using local infrastructure not a 12,000 kilometre long undersea cable.

I am not saying that we could not stand to get a bit more attention, but unless it is going to hurt their bottom line they have little reason to change; especially for a free to play game where a cost/profits ratio will be analysed to the extreme.

I personally believe that the Xbox Live (and PS Plus to a lesser extent) model is the best way to go. Because they earn monthly revenue just by running services there are funds available to expand servers. A decrease in quality of service would mean subscribers leave- therefore services will remain speedy, local and redundant, three things that cost money that need regular income to support, not good months and bad months with creditors getting unhappy because some exec wanted to expand server coverage without ensuring it would lead to increased revenue.

How this could work on PC as an overall service and not as a paid subscription per game remains to be seen but I feel the ISP level is the best option. An extra fee on top of your monthly broadband bill to gain access to a 'Gaming Plan', ISP's use this money to run hosts for virtual machines at various centres around the country, including rural Oz, and Free to Play games or even AAA multiplayer games can run servers on VM's with low latency due to your own ISP hosting it locally. ISP's that offer more games or better connections speeds, reliability or latency (maybe even tournaments and better connectivity to other ISPs server farms; more connections, more players) could have people move to a new ISP to gain access to a gaming plan.

If anyone thinks that priority multiplayer offers wouldn't attract gamers with dollars in hand just look at Battlefield Premium- people are willing to pay a fee for a better (in BF4s case a priority queue) connection. Add on offers to a gaming plan like, for example, a couple of hours of private server access per month or any online game, game download are excluded from monthly quotas (like Steam mirrors on iiNet) or all gaming traffic is prioritised- based on ports- over all other traffic for gaming access, all these features could be used with consoles as well, ISP fees could cover PC Gaming Service and XBox Live under one payment, discounting both for the benefit of competition.

The Planetside 2 example cited above could be fixed easily, ISP’s invest Gaming Plan revenue on VM Hosts, SOE gets more servers at minimal costs, ISPs should offer a couple of VM’s for free or charge a small fee for each one that is used, finally moving away from always on, dedicated machine, pay for it even when it is empty model of hosting online games and to an ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ model, more people logging onto Planetside, increase resources available to their VM’s to allow for more players, SOE gets charged based on when people are playing instead of having to run a set number of servers that at some times may be idle costing money, at others they are full causing gamer backlash. Hosts of VM’s (e.g. ESXi with vCentre) are paid for through gaming plans that are picked up by players who would see better performance through a trial or a mates house or a display at a shopping centre like those Foxtel stands. Better plans get more customers, smaller outfits pop up offering plans that only cover gaming, Naked Gaming plans like Naked DSL, for people who just use their phones/tablets with LTE for internet but can’t use the phone for gaming because the ping is terrible.

Am I onto something or is nobody reading this? Business is moving to IaaS, paying for access to an app through a browser that they don’t have to maintain, specialised providers do that. Anything that is worthwhile usually costs money, making even Free to Play titles cost a bit would be palatable when it makes all Free to Play games run better, thus making it a better experience.
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