H1Z1 refunds offered following ‘pay-to-win’ accusations and stumbling servers

It’s not been a smooth ride for Sony Online Entertainment’s online zombie title H1Z1.

The game arrived on Steam Early Access for 14.99 last week but has been beset by server problems, including the inability to login and difficulty locating active servers. Once in the game issues such as no voice chat and lag were also widely reported.

More pressing for SOE, however, was the strength of the reaction from those who felt unhappy about what they perceived as the ‘pay-to-win’ mechanic that is the in-game air supply drops. These allow players to pay to receive a crate containing weapons and ammo.

As well as offering a no questions asked” refund for those who were unhappy, SOE boss John Smedley took to Reddit to defend his game.

We’ve been showing it clearly in all of the streams we have been doing,” he said of accusations that the studio had not been upfront about the scope of the advantage offered by air supply drops.

I made a point of personally doing it during last Friday’s streams. I’ve personally been killed many times after I paid for them myself. So I fundamentally disagree with the argument. In terms of us not being honest about it – untrue to an extreme.

We’ve been straight about it. We’ve called attention to it publicly and it’s something we’ve decided we want in the game. It makes it more fun. It can shake things up. Please don’t judge based on knee jerk reactions. Try it. Or watch more streams with people doing it.

So if you think it’s P2W don’t buy it. Don’t play it.”

Smedley added that calling in air drops brings with it other problems for players, too, including generating a ton of zombie heat” and the fact that drops offer no guarantees as to their contents.

He also said that the area in which drops will arrive will be increased, making it harder for players to locate them, and the chances of a gun being included will be reduced.

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