The H1Z1 saga has taken yet another bizarre, confusing twist, as developer NantG Mobile has announced that it is giving up on the newly-renamed Z1 Battle Royale and returning it to original developer Daybreak Games. The studio did not confirm that the change has resulted in layoffs, as reported last week by Massively Overpowered, but said that it "will focus on its core mission of developing mobile games moving forward," and has "refocused our team toward this vision."
A little history probably wouldn't hurt, given all that's happened so far. H1Z1 originally went live on Steam Early Access in 2015, and then split into two games in 2016: H1Z1: Just Survive, the multiplayer survival game, and H1Z1: King of the Kill, a competitive battle royale. The following year, the H1Z1 bit was cut from the first game, leaving it as Just Survive (which was closed in August 2018), while King of the Kill went back to being just H1Z1, and was then rebranded to Z1 Battle Royale last year. And after all that dicking around, we're right back where we started, except with a battle royale instead of a survival game.
"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," NantG announced on Steam.
"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."
NantG said that Daybreak has committed to keeping the Z1 Battle Royale servers online and continuing development of the game, and that it's working with Daybreak to help ensure a smooth transition. I've emailed Daybreak for more information and will update if I receive a reply.