H1Z1 is a game about scares, but when night falls, its players switch off.
The massively multiplayer online zombie game has a realistic day-and-night cycle, but developer Daybreak Game Company — formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment — crunched some data and found a much higher percentage of players log out when it gets dark. Company president John Smedley took to Reddit to find out why they’re leaving, saying, “Personally I love the night, but data is data and it’s you — our players — doing the logging out when it gets dark. You are literally voting with your feet on this issue.”
Smedley has been active on Reddit since H1Z1’s announcement a year ago. It seems he’s taking an active note of player feedback there, as H1Z1’s already getting some nighttime gameplay tweaks as a result of the thread. It’s a good example of community engagement playing out quickly through social channels.
“The night is not too dark. It’s just too long and the days are too short,” Reddit user Sellsents said in response to Smedley’s post.
Another Reddit user, Katrar, pointed out that the night is just way too dark: “I’m not sure exactly when the changes to night lighting were made — a month ago, perhaps? — but it is definitely much darker than it was during the preceding months. Nighttime now can be almost pitch-black. Players are unwilling to utilize light sources, for obvious reasons, and that means doing almost anything at night is out of the question. You either hunker down and wait or log out.”
Responding to these and similar comments, Smedley update his initial post to say the team is now going to introduce shorter, brighter nights and add daytime-only servers to the game.
So you can now play H1Z1 and pretend you’re Al Pacino in Insomnia at the same time.