Zombie horror survival game “DayZ” launched Dec. 17 on Steam Early Access in an alpha release. After one hour, the game had recruited 19,000 users. During the first 12 hours, the title drew 88,000 players. After 24 hours, “DayZ” had been downloaded 172,500 times. The open-world multiplayer title was created by New Zealand game designer Dean Hall and developed by Bohemia Interactive. “DayZ” is a standalone version of the award-winning mod.
On Dec. 18, Bohemia Interactive CEO Maruk Spanel wrote a blog post about the game’s progress, saying “First day of ‘DayZ’ (Alpha). Hours passed: 24. Copies sold: 172,500. Survivors online: 142,403. Bugs discovered: many. Work ahead: hard.” On Dec. 17, “Gears of War” creator Cliff Bleszinski tweeted about playing “DayZ,” snapping a screen shot of a discovered glitch in the game.
The title is one of many of 2013’s successful zombie survival games, like “The Last of Us” and “Dead Rising 3.” “DayZ” is a basic survival horror game, where players take on tasks to gather food, supplies, medicine, clothing and water in a 225-square-kilometer setting. Items can be collected in random places such as abandoned vehicles, homes and barns. Players can also pick up weapons that serve as protection from other players or the undead.
The “DayZ” standalone game began development in August 2012 following the success of the original mod. Dean Hall joined forces with Bohemia Interactive and took over as project lead. Three months later, he posted an unedited video clip of the game’s multiplayer mode to YouTube, saying that the footage “makes no effort to mask the variety of bugs.” Hall has talked about moving the game to next-gen consoles like the PS4 or Xbox One, although no specific date has been set for either system.
As more players download "DayZ," developers at Bohemia will have a clearer understanding of what works for the game and what doesn't. The game is available on Steam for $29.99. Have you played it? What do you think? What types of bugs have you encountered? Leave a comment below.