H1Z1 Officially Launches As Its Player Base Dwindles

H1Z1 has officially launched after three years of early access, and its launch has brought with it a brand new game mode and the prospect of a coming pro league ala Overwatch’s recently launched venture. The official launch comes alongside a new content patch officially launching season one as well as introducing tactical drops (choosing your deployment area), an overhauled user interface, as well as Auto Royale, a new game mode that sticks players in vehicles and locks them there.

First, a BRAND NEW GAME MODE! This was one hard secret to keep, but we are excited to bring you Auto Royale™, a new team-based, vehicular battle royale game mode. We’ve seen how entertaining driving around can be in H1Z1, so we decided to run with the idea and have a little fun. In Auto Royale, we lock you and your teammates into a vehicle, launch you into the map with up to 29 other teams and watch the mayhem unfold.

That said, H1Z1 may be facing an uphill battle now that it is fully launched as Steam Charts show that the base has dwindled by about 91% since its peak last year. Last March, Kotaku waxed poetic about how King of the Kill had managed to pull its way into the top 10 most active Steam games despite the fact that the reviews were relatively negative for such a popular title. In fact, King of the Kill saw exponential growth between August 2016 and its peak in July 2017 and despite a review of just 57% positive at the time, managed to peak at over 150,000 concurrent players.

And then that number plummeted. By September that figure was down to 105 thousand and by November that number more than halved to 42 thousand. As of the last month, King of the Kill has dropped to about 14,000 peak concurrent players. How this drop in players will affect the viability of King of the Kill’s planned pro league is unclear, as the game’s Twitch viewership has also seen a major drop in attention in favor of PUBG and Fortnite Battle Royale.

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