A brand new zombie-themed free-to-play MMO was announced last week, titled The War Z. It’s unveiling by developer Hammerpoint Interactive and publisher Arktos Entertainment Group could not have come sooner as the buzz and popularity for another similar online zombie experience in DayZ is hitting a fever pitch.
Where The War Z has been in development for a year and will release for a one-time purchase fee of $29.99 (with a discount for those who pre-order) later this year, the fan-made DayZ mod for ARMA 2 is already out and playable in its alpha build, but its development is stalled. DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall has a goal of completing his mod and converting it to a standalone game and if he can get the resources he needs, that game could be ready for release by the end of the year as well.
Earlier this month, in interviews with Beefjack and Eurogamer, Hall made it clear that DayZ will absolutely become its own game and that it was just a matter of time. He claims that Bohemia Interactive – the developers of the ARMA franchise have been very supportive, but that they’ve oddly not scooped up the opportunity to help make a brand new game from the mod – a mod which has exploded onto the PC gaming scene, growing by several hundred thousand players in the past few weeks alone (currently sitting over 840,000) players.
The popularity of the mod has boosted sales on the 2009 ARMA 2 and continues to earn buzz thanks to livestreams, popular YouTube celebs playing the game, and now video game media buzz. In chatting with VG247, Hall spoke about his plans for DayZ, explaining that ideally, DayZ would be a low-priced standalone game, following the successful model used by Mojang with Minecraft. He also says the game could be ready for standalone launch within the “next few months” if Bohemia or another publisher/developer jumps on the opportunity to helm the project. The most interesting part of their interview is the ideas for features Hall has for making DayZ unique:
“In order for people to not feel ripped off we need to have a load of new content; so, things like base-building, tidying and cleaning up animations and add ragdoll physics as the like.”
Adding base-building could allow for an entirely new type of gameplay, with potential to expand the mod beyond just zombies and supply-collecting. Bohemia is currently hard at work on ARMA 3 - should they also add DayZ as a potential new shooter franchise? If they can jump on this and get a beta build with new features ready for this fall, it’ll have the advantage on The War Z with a lower price point and an already-built-in playerbase.
What features would you like added to your idea zombie survival shooter?
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