The origin story of DayZ sees its humble beginnings as a fan-made mod of Bohemia Interactive's ARMA 2 - a mod so popular that it dwarfed the active player counts of the game it was based on. It was a broken, but unique, community-driven survival experience where players craft their own stories through their own adventures and interactions with others. Much of that had to do with people robbing, helping, torturing or escorting other players found out in the wilderness of the fictional post-Soviet state of Chernarus. And yes, the occasional zombie was involved too, but DayZ was more about surviving than fighting zombies.
The demand for DayZ and the experience it offered saw a bunch of similar titles and clones made to capitalize on the buzz. In a lot of respects, it was like Minecraft in that regard, opening up a new genre and innovating. Infestation: Survival Stories (previously known as The War Z), sony'z H1Z1, The Long Dark, Rust, etc. are just a few of the titles embracing concepts of DayZ. That demand also helped DayZ creator Dean Hall seek financing or a publisher to help make DayZ a standalone game, and Bohemia jumped on the opportunity.
Despite a large amount of delays and a mostly-broken alpha build, DayZ came to Steam as an early access title and quickly sold over a million copies. Most players didn't stick around for long since there was little to do in the game (when it worked), but despite the title slowly developing away while its player counts dwindle and Hall prepares to leave the project, Bohemia is pushing to expand the game's audience.
Perhaps it's the only way to keep making money without ever finishing the game, but it was announced three months ago that DayZ was on its way to the PlayStation 4. It's coming to the Xbox family as well eventually, and this was all an inevitability. Our question was whether or not DayZ was too broken to come to consoles and in its current state on PC, it really is, but we expect that - again, like Minecraft - some interface/gameplay changes and some limitations on the world can make it console-ready.
Either way, Bohemia realizes that DayZ just might be their flagship brand in the long-term and today announced their development plans for the title in 2015. Also, the price is going up next year. Surprise! By this time next year, DayZ will enter its "beta" stage and should have vehicles, a new interface, animals, pets and base building. Check out the official development roadmap below. More details on new features will be released over the coming weeks.
Recently the team has reviewed our progress throughout 2014 against where we require DayZ to be when it reaches it's final release version. After looking through this data we have compiled a brief development roadmap for 2015. This roadmap will hopefully give you a taste of the exciting things, that we in store for DayZ over the next .
- Basic vehicles
- Advanced loot distribution
- New renderer
- New Zombie AI
- Basic stealth system (zombies and animals)
- Advanced vehicles (repair and modifications)
- Advanced animals (life cycle, group behavior)
- Player statistics
- New UI
- Player stamina
- Dynamic events
- Character life span + soft skills
- Animal predators + birds
- Aerial transport
- Console prototype
- Animal companions
- Steam community integration
- Construction (base building)
- BETA version, expected price 34,99 EUR / 43,99 USD
Bohemia also plans to add new weapons, objects, craft able items, vehicles and implemented additional features and optimizations on a monthly basis. The new price point for the beta will be $35 next year and the plan is to have DayZ release in full in early 2016 at price of $50. The potential is there for DayZ to be a wonderful, multiplayer experience. It just needs polish and performance upgrades, and lots of stuff to do. It needs to supports lots of life and lots of players in order to work, and the changes to the game engine and potential financial boosts from raising the price, adding new features (to bring in players) and releasing on other consoles can potentially get them there.
Or, it can feel dated and somewhat broken like ARMA 3, and all of these feature could be delayed and delayed while other games take over the mantle (looking at you, H1Z1). Are you optimistic on the future of DayZ?
DayZ is currently available via Steam Early Access. No PS4 or Xbox One release dates have been revealed yet.
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