Daybreak takes over H1Z1 Battle Royale development from NantG

Daybreak Game Company has taken over the development of Z1 Battle Royale after NantG Mobile relinquished the project saying there were “many challenges that preclude [it] from long-term success”.

In a statement on Steam (thanks,, NantG Mobile said that while it had been “working feverishly on rebranding Z1 Battle Royale and reverting the game back to its glory days”, the challenges and “confusion” of having two studios developing the “same game under two separate brands” were too great.

Just Survive shut down in August 2018, and battle royale King of the Kill was subsequently rebranded as H1Z1, then Z1 Battle Royale.

“In the past few months, NantG Mobile has been working feverishly on rebranding Z1 Battle Royale and reverting the game back to its glory days. We’ve since made countless changes to Z1BR in an effort to recapture the moments that once made the game vastly popular and truly unique and special to many of you,” the statement began.

“Despite the team’s determination and commitment to revive Z1BR’s player base with our recent Season 3 launch update, we soon realized that the road is still paved with many challenges that preclude us from long-term success, including the confusion it caused by having both NantG Mobile and Daybreak managing the same game under two separate brands.

“Based on these events and the current state of the game, NantG Mobile will focus on its core mission of developing mobile games moving forward, and we have refocused our team toward this vision.”

Consequently, NantG Mobile has agreed “to hand back the Z1BR torch to Daybreak Games”. The studio says Daybreak Games “has agreed to keep the servers up for players and continue live maintenance on the game”.

H1Z1 developer Daybreak Games made further redundancies in December after “optimising” its structure. In its second shake-up of that year, former Daybreak boss John Smedley said around 70 people had lost their jobs via Twitter, but subsequently deleted those tweets.

“We are optimising our structure to ensure we best position ourselves for continued success in the years to come,” the studio later confirmed in a statement. “This effort has required us to make some changes within the organisation and we are doing everything we can to support those impacted in this difficult time.

“As we look to improve efficiencies and realign resources, we remain focused on supporting our existing games and development of our future titles.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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