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Do not expect DayZ beta before end of 2014

But Bohemia promises "huge progress" this year.

Survival game DayZ may be out and selling incredibly, but it's still so early in development that even beta status is still the best part of a year away.

"We do not expect to reach beta status sooner than the end of 2014," announced Marek Spanel, boss of developer Bohemia, on the DayZ blog.

Oh sorry, were you eating? This is talented Australian Kiana Jones in her zombie Audrey Hepburn costume.

He also shared an updated sales figure that was even bigger than DayZ creator Dean Hall suggested yesterday. It's many more than "nearly 800,000 in under a month", as Hall suggested: it's, according to Spanel, "over 875,000 copies ... in just three weeks".

That's some £17.5m earned through sales of the Early Access game, not counting Steam's cut. It's also vindication, if any were ever needed, that DayZ is red hot and Bohemia should throw the sink at it.

"We didn't want to compromise on the brutal and unforgiving nature of the early days of the DayZ mod," added Spanel, "so we're very surprised to see such interest as this clearly is not a game for everyone, especially considering that there are some radical changes under the hood in comparison to the mod.

"We're already seeing unbelievable player stories happening every day in the game even in its very limited alpha, and we're focused to make huge progress in 2014 on many areas of the game."

Short-term that means "the most critical problems" while also getting DayZ on the road to beta, Spanel discussed. The roadmap will be reassessed in the second half of January. Until then, here's the DayZ to-do list according to Spanel.

  • Server performance, stability and security
  • Animals & hunting
  • Cooking & gathering resources
  • Playable user customizable vehicles
  • Player created constructions in the environment
  • More complex interactions with the environment and crafting options
  • Streamlined user actions and interface
  • Control and animations expanded and improved for fluidity
  • Upgraded graphics and physics engine (including ragdoll, etc.)
  • Support of user mods and more flexibility for user hosted servers and game types

Eurogamer's Ian Higton is hosting another DayZ Let's Play today at 4.30pm. Here's yesterday's DayZ Let's Play to watch while you wait.

Watch on YouTube