Update: A day later and H1z1 on PlayStation 4 is now at 4.5 million downloads and climbing. The Devs had added duos mode to the game via an uppate.
Developer Daybreak Games has announced that the H1Z1: Battle Royale open beta on PlayStation 4 has already been a success. In just a 24-hour timespan, the free beta was downloaded over 1.5 million times by players worldwide. The third-person shooter is expected to release later this year, and this was the first step towards bringing it to consoles.
These numbers are a huge success for Daybreak Games, as their battle royale hasn't proven to be as popular as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite on PC. This is despite H1Z1 releasing on Steam Early Access back in 2015 (prior to both games). This console launch gives the game a renewed chance at success, and by targeting the PlayStation 4 market with this open beta, they appear to have found a successful niche that is looking for a more mature battle royale game.
The open beta for H1Z1 allows players to try out the game's competitive multiplayer in its full glory. It features a similar gameplay loop to other games in the genre, as players parachute into the map with nothing and have to search for weapons, ammo and supplies as they attempt to be the last player to survive. The PS4 version differs from the previously launched PC version, as it features a reworked user interface that allows players to grab and equip gear rather than having to go through multiple menus and some gameplay tweaks that result in a faster-paced experience. Said producer Terrence Yee:
"This is an incredible milestone and we want to thank all of our player who helped make this possible. We believe we’ve found the right balance for battle royale on console and players have responded positively to our reimagining of H1Z1. We will continue to refine the game based on feedback from [the] open beta to ensure the best experience possible for our actively growing community."
From an aesthetic and gameplay standpoint, H1Z1 is much more closer to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds than Fortnite. Considering PUBG is currently exclusive to PC and Xbox One, it makes sense that Daybreak Games' latest title would immediate find an audience on PlayStation. Battle royale shooters are clearly a huge deal in gaming at the moment (so much so that Call of Duty is trying to get in on the trend with its new Blackout mode), and this provides a much more serious counterpart to Epic Games' popular shooter.
It will be quite interesting to see if the momentum for H1Z1 will continue as it nears an official console launch later this year. As of now, though, it can't be ignored and the battle royale genre just got another huge competitor.
Source: Daybreak Games