H1Z1 has gone through a lot of controversies since launch; well since the launch of its early access version.
Considering it is early in its development, some glitches such as the text-chat box disappearing, log in issues and frame rate issues are to be expected. The early access is there to catch bugs like these and fix them before launch.
According to John Smedley’s post on the game’s Reddit page, it seems these random bugs are keeping developers constantly busy: “We're going home now, everyone here is operating on two hours of sleep from last night and we have to send people home but we'll be right back in tomorrow morning and back at it.”
But it isn’t the bugs that got gamers angry with SOE; it was the microtransactions they implemented that made the game seem like “pay to win”. Greg Henninger of SOE said in this regard,
“We have made the decision to allow paid-for airdrops into the game with things like guns and other things being randomly selected as part of the airdrop,”
“We’re making them highly contested and building a whole set of rules around this, but you should be aware that our goal is to make this a way to keep things interesting on the servers but still be contested. If these offend your sensibilities just know that they are going to be there. We have gone out of our way to make sure the airdrops are contested in-game and that you can’t simply expect to easily walk about to the airdrop and grab it. Even if you paid for it.”
The problem mainly arose because of what Smedly had commented months ago in regards to the microtransactions: “We will be selling wearables. We felt like this will be a good, fair revenue generator. We will NOT be selling guns, ammo, food, water... i.e. That's kind of the whole game and it would suck in our opinion if we did that.”
H1Z1 is currently in Early Access on Steam, with the base game costing $20/£15.
Worse was the fact that this free to play game was being sold for $20 for early access.
John Smedley himself had gone back to Reddit to set things straight,
"I'm going to weigh in here on this subject. We've been showing it clearly in all of the streams we have been doing. I made a point of personally doing it during last Friday's streams. We want them to be server events... so we make sure the whole server knows they're coming and 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. Quoting an 8 month old Reddit post after numerous streams and interviews where we've been quite public AND putting it front and center in our 'What to expect document' which was right on the purchase page just makes this blatantly unfair IMO."
He further clarified later a while ago on Reddit, "There will be crates with cosmetic only stuff in them. Anything that matters to your survival will be done as recipes so you have to go out and get the stuff for it rather than us handing it to you. We feel the same way you guys do about this stuff. It makes it interesting - I don't think I've ever seen a game do it this way. We're all used to buying something and getting it.. [sic] not getting the recipe for it."
Finally I guess this would settle the issue once and for all, they offered refunds to unsatisfied customers. Also adding the final request to users to try before the judge it.
"If you feel like the airdrops are an issue for you, you may immediately request a refund to [email protected] - this offer applies till Monday and it applies only to people that have purchased the game as of 10:30am Pacific today 1/16/2015 -
"So if you think it's [Pay to win] don't buy it. Don't play it. But I have to say wait until you've personally tried them before making the call. We included airdrops in both the $20 and the $40 versions just so you could see for yourselves."