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Fresh out a three year long Early Access period, Daybreak’s battle royale title H1Z1 is going free-to-play, just ahead of the game’s inaugural H1Z1 Pro League Esports season.
It’s a notable jump, especially since H1Z1 emerged from a lengthy early access period as a $19.99 game roughly a week ago. But, according to Daybreak general manager Anthony Castoro, part of the decision to go free-to-play was born out of the coming Esports push.
Speaking to Polygon, Castoro explained that Daybreak considers the move an investment in a “Joe-to-pro” concept, or that watching the H1Z1 Pro League will inspire players to pick up the now free-to-play game and try their hands at competitive play.
To compensate for the loss of the $19.99 price tag, Daybreak is adding three tiers of DLC packs priced at $19.99, $49.99, and $99.99 that grant players access to additional loot boxes, in-game currency, and cosmetic items. Existing players are set to receive a handful of in-game goodies when the free-to-play swap takes hold today.