DayZ creator Dean Hall is now officially ready to move on from his popular Arma 2 mod with the announcement this week of his new studio, RocketWerkz. When Hall announced his plans to leave Bohemia Interactive by the end of this year, it raised a few eyebrows among his popular survival game's player base.
DayZ remains one of the biggest success stories of the past few years and yet the game is still arguably in an 'unfinished' state. Both Hall and Bohemia have taken steps since then to ensure that the DayZ team is still in good hands.
Hall had previously claimed he would be gone from Bohemia by the end of 2014, and it appears that transition is now in full effect. Hall announced on Twitter this week that he is now looking for programmers, artists and other developers for RocketWerkz, with all positions initially based out of New Zealand.
Hall began taking on new employess for his new company back in June and even alluded to having a name for the studio in mind, but kept it close to the vest since the trademark had not been registered. With that now squared away, RocketWerkz is officially open for business. The studio's first game has not been revealed, but Hall gave Eurogamer a bit of a sneak peak at his design philosophy earlier this year, voicing his admiration - and ambition - for Valve's emphasis on hiring talented modders for games like Team Fortress 2, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike.
"I want to make a Valve in the South Pacific... If Valve focused on making games and not making Steam."
That's a pretty lofty goal, but Hall's experience with DayZ and Bohemia Interactive should serve him well. Bohemia's willingness to admit that a mod for Arma 2 had surpassed the popularity of the original game led them to bring Hall in-house, which has obviously turned out well for all involved. It sounds like Hall plans on keeping communication between his new company and any future fans of RocketWerkz's games open in a similar fashion.
Meanwhile, DayZ appears ready to move forward without its creator. The road map for PC development has become a lot clearer recently and plans to bring the title to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are in the works. Even though the concept of porting a still unfinished PC game to other systems raises some questions. Given the mod's slow development over the last year, it will be interesting to see how Bohemia fares now that Hall is officially out the door.
DayZ is available on Steam through Early Access. No release date for the PS4 or Xbox One versions of the title has been announced.