'DayZ' Zombie Survival Game Receives 88,000 Downloads During First 12 Hours of Launch

The open world horror game launches on Steam.

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Open world survival horror game “DayZ’ is now available on Steam Early Access in alpha form. The title managed to draw in 88,000 players during the first 12 hours of its release, with 19,000 players signing up during the first hour of its launch. The multiplayer open world game was developed by Bohemia Interactive and is a standalone version of the award-winning mod of the same name.

2013 has been a great year for zombie survival horror games. Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us” was touted by many gaming web sites as one of the best titles of the year. Capcom’s “Dead Rising 3” was one of the first Xbox One exclusive games and received a 7/10 on GameSpot. Players have also long awaited the second season of Telltale Games’ “The Walking Dead,” an episodic adventure game based on the zombie apocalypse-themed AMC series.

“DayZ” is based around a story of survival, where players must find supplies in a 225 sq. km. backdrop. Supplies include medicine, food, water and clothing. These items can be located in places such as barns, vehicles and homes. You can also search for weapons that serve as protection from zombies or other players, as well as construct bases where you can store your items. Once you destroy all of the zombies in a given area, the enemies will not respawn, although some may wander back toward your location. “DayZ” also allows players to read hundreds of public domain books, such as “Moby Dick” and “War of the Worlds.”

The “DayZ” standalone began development in Aug. 2012, after the original mod faced significant success. New Zealand game designer Dean Hall, 32, took on the role of project lead in partnership with Bohemia Interactive. In Nov., Hall posted an unedited clip of the game’s multiplayer test to YouTube, admitting that the footage “makes no effort to mask the variety of bugs.” He also said that “our whole focus is on getting the alpha out, which means focusing on multiplayer performance.”

Earlier this year, Hall felt that “DayZ” may eventually reach next-gen consoles Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and was open to launching the title on any system that was “indie-friendly.” In June 2013, Hall was confident that the release of “DayZ” was drawing nearer. "We’re at a point where we can push play any day now. We just want to make sure that when we push play, we’re not screwing things over." The game developer also made it clear that the launch version of the title would be a "very bare-bones" alpha version.

“Gears of War” creator Cliff Bleszinski began playing the game, tweeting his experiences with the zombie survival title. As more players experience the alpha version of "DayZ," developers will have a better idea of which concepts work - and which are ineffective.

Were you one of the 88,000 who downloaded "DayZ?" What do you think about the game? Leave a comment below.

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