H1Z1 developer 'open to exploring' Xbox One battle royale release

With the battle royale genre thriving, Daybreak Game Company is looking to expand its last-man-standing shooter, H1Z1, to new platforms. After leaving PC early access this year, H1Z1 is set to hit PlayStation 4 (PS4) with a new loot progression system, controls, and tailored user interface. And although today's announcement focuses on Sony's flagship console, an Xbox One release hasn't been ruled out entirely.

H1Z1 saw its PS4 and Xbox One unveiling two years ago, under its "King of the Kill" battle royale game mode. After several changes in vision and shifting the game's focus, these versions were put on hold, focusing on a free-to-play PC release. The game is now finally set to see its console debut – but with no mention of Xbox One this time around.

Leading up to the H1Z1 Pro League in Las Vegas, we had the opportunity to talk Lead Systems Designer at Daybreak, Anthony Morton, regarding the game's future. Speaking to Windows Central, Morton expanded on current plans, affirming the studio is "open to exploring" other platforms.

Everybody's like, what about Xbox One? What about Switch? What about my phone? Right now, we are focused on PS4 for sure – once that gets out there and we're happy with where it's at, we're totally open to exploring other platforms and what other platforms have to offer. For right now, we're big fans of PlayStation, obviously – we have a diverse history, we came from a Sony background, the community is awesome, the platform itself is awesome. So, we start there and figure ourselves out once we're happy with where it's at.

Prior to Daybreak Game Company, the studio was formerly named Sony Online Entertainment – an internal Sony game development studio known for its work on EverQuest and PlanetSide. While eventually spun off independently, Morton cited the team's experience with PlayStation as a reason for launching first on the console.

There's a background, a heritage, there. We have an understanding on a lot of the PlayStation stuff, and the requirements, and how all that stuff works. Planetside is on PS4, so it's not the first time we've done this. So, there's a lot of history there and the PS4 for us is just an awesome console – it's a really good platform, it feels like a game-centric platform and the community is great. It's just exciting.

While the Xbox One version has seemingly been put aside, Daybreak appears open to platforms beyond PC and PS4 in the future. With PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite dominating the battle royale space on Microsoft's console, H1Z1 could have potential on PS4 without fierce competition from the duo.

For those on PC, H1Z1 is currently available for free via Steam. The game's PS4 release is slated for May 22 via an open beta, before an official launch expected at a later date.

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.