DayZ without Dean Hall: What now?

A big interview for a big new year.

VideoVideo: Watch us play Mini DayZ from 4.30pm GMT

See the officially recognised spin-off in action.

Who is DayZ creator Dean Hall?

Starving, mountains, zombies: his incredible story.

Key events

DayZ just got its most meaningful update in months

DayZ just got its most meaningful update in months

Denser forests! Ambient sounds! Wind! More!

DayZ just got its most meaningful updates in months.

Overnight, Bohemia Interactive pushed out the 0.62 update to its open-world survival zombie game. It reworks foliage and adds new ambient sounds, among other things. The idea is the the update helps make DayZ a more modern-looking and sounding game.

Here's what's new, as posted to the DayZ forum:

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Whenever I write anything about DayZ, the conversation is dominated by two things: DayZ not being finished and Dean Hall not finishing it. There are legitimate concerns tied around misinformed ones. I have tried to put all of these to the game's creative director Brian Hicks.

DayZ in 2016: aerial vehicles, predators, animal companions, more

"We understand the frustrations and difficulties of public development..."

Multiplayer survival game DayZ has a big year ahead of it in 2016. That's when it will leave Steam Early Access, and that's when it plans on hitting the Xbox One Preview programme (DayZ has also been announced for PS4 but there is no timeline for release).

Private DayZ servers can now be monetised

Just "a test run" for now.

Private DayZ servers can now be monetised, which means you can - among other things - limit access to people who pay. In order to be able to monetise your server it must be approved by Bohemia, and those that are will be added to a publicly available list.

DayZ creator Dean Hall announces new game Ion

DayZ creator Dean Hall announces new game Ion

UPDATE: "It's now about me proving I have learned lessons and we deliver on stuff."

UPDATE 17TH JUNE: Dean Hall has talked more about what Ion, his new game, will be. He started by saying his space game won't be Star Citizen, won't be Elite, won't be Eve Online.

Ion will be about owning regions of space and building space stations there, and surviving. And you'll view it from a zoomed out third-person perspective similar to Diablo. It's not first-person, to be clear.

You'll be a pioneer in space, and walk around space stations, and these space stations will exist in stitched together, persistent regions of space.

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DayZ reaches 3m sales on Early Access

DayZ reaches 3m sales on Early Access

In only 13 months on sale.

DayZ's standalone remake has sold 3m copies on Steam Early Access, where it launched in December 2013.

DayZ hit the 2m sales mark in May 2014 and is now due for an official 1.0 launch in the first half of 2016 where it's expected to cost €40. Back in November developer Dean Hall outlined his 2015 update plans for the ever-evolving zombie apocalypse survival sandbox.

The game has already received 24 updates in its time on Early Access. Many of these updates were based around optimising the new Enfusion engine to get the most out of DirectX 11, enhance performance and bolster the game's graphical fidelity.

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DayZ without Dean Hall: What now?

A big interview for a big new year.

After a whirlwind three years Dean Hall has gone, left Bohemia, returned to New Zealand, started a new indie studio, walked away from day-to-DayZ. "Saying goodbye is like a mountain summit," he wrote on Twitter in December. "People focus on that, and forget that it is the journey there and then onward that really matters."

DayZ standalone now due in 2016 for €40

Reveals update plans for 2015, price increases next week.

DayZ isn't going to come out of Steam Early Access until somewhere around the first half of 2016, developer Bohemia has announced, although it has detailed its update plans throughout 2015.

VideoVideo: Watch us play Mini DayZ from 4.30pm GMT

See the officially recognised spin-off in action.

Did you know there was an officially licensed 2D spin-off of DayZ, complete with 2D, top-down graphics and a bite-sized Chernaus? Oh, you did? Well, I didn't (I'm quite ignorant about these things) so I'm going to be watching Ian Higton stream the game from 4.30pm with interest. It is a thing that is happening here, below.

DayZ announced for PS4

Zombie MMO DayZ is coming to PlayStation 4, creator Dean Hall has announced.

On stage during Sony's Gamescom press conference, Hall said the PS4 port will benefit the existing PC version. There's an entirely new cross-platform renderer to boost the visuals, for example.

More soon.

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Should Early Access DayZ be in Steam's Summer Sale?

Dean Hall "shocked" Bohemia put it there.

Since DayZ launched in Early Access, developer/publisher Bohemia has discouraged people from impulse - hype - buying it. "We strongly advise you not to buy and play the game at this stage unless you clearly understand what Early Access means and are interested in participating in the ongoing development cycle," a clear warning on the game's Steam page reads.

Arma 3 sales pass the 1m mark

Arma 3 sales pass the 1m mark

Combined with DayZ sales, that's a nice Czech.

Czech developer Bohemia has more to celebrate than just DayZ: military war simulation Arma 3 has passed 1m sales.

Company boss Marek Spanel announced the milestone on Twitter last night.

By comparison, DayZ sales crossed the 2m mark in early May.

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DayZ Standalone sells 2m in just over four months

DayZ Standalone sells 2m in just over four months

Not bad for a Steam Early Access game.

Sandbox survival zombie game DayZ Standalone has sold an impressive two million units in just over four months on sale.

Chief creator Dean "Rocket" Hall announced the sales figure on Twitter yesterday, days after the DayZ mod for Bohemia's military simulation Arma 2 - the one that started it all - celebrated its second birthday.

DayZ Standalone launched on Steam as an Early Access title on 16th December 2013 and quickly shot to the top of the digital platform's best-sellers list. There it costs 19.99, suggesting revenue of around 40m. Right now it's third in Steam's top sellers chart.

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Why is hardship the new hotness?

DayZ, survival, and the glorious cult of cruelty.

I'm always late to the party - even when most of the people at the party are dead. In the case of DayZ, I'm very late indeed. It's been two years since Dean Hall's mod started to turn ordinary gamers into hardened survivalists, and in that time, it feels like the game has helped cement a genre - or something that certainly behaves like one. I get hundreds of press releases in my inbox every week, and about two thirds of them promise that the latest title I'm about to fall in love with is just like DayZ - or just like Minecraft. These titles are not unrelated. In 2014, we love foraging and scavenging. We love finding our own tools and getting by on next to nothing. We love hardship. We love suffering. It's no longer enough to just thrive - we want to feel the sharp edge of survival itself.

Bohemia's war: the story of the company behind Arma and DayZ

From Operation Flashpoint to a Greek prison and back again.

Imagine waking one morning to discover that two of your staff had been detained in a foreign country over allegations of espionage. What would you do? You're not the head of MI6. You don't employ spies. You employ developers who make video games. You discover the news in your online forum but soon it's spread like wildfire, to local radio and TV, and people are knocking at your door for comment. What do you say? What do you tell the families of the arrested men?

Who is DayZ creator Dean Hall?

Starving, mountains, zombies: his incredible story.

Dean Hall talked about the reaction to his leaving Bohemia and DayZ during a live on-stage interview at EGX Rezzed this weekend passed. The archived live-streamed footage is on Twitch now.

DayZ sales figures, new studio acquisition revealed

DayZ sales figures, new studio acquisition revealed

And 2014 roadmap: Respawning loot! Fireplaces! Crossbows!

UPDATE 28/03/2014 23:50 GMT: Bohemia has been in touch to clarify that its new subsidiary Bohemia Interactive Slovakia, the existence of which was detailed in Dean Hall's EGX Rezzed presentation, is a new studio built around former staff, facilities and technologies of Cauldron rather than a full-on acquisition of Cauldron.

"In 2013, Bohemia Interactive opened a new studio in Bratislava, Slovakia - as part of the Czech company's portfolio of next-generation game development studios," it said. "The new studio is composed by former recruits from the successful Slovak studio Cauldron, and has acquired selected Cauldron's facilities and technologies."

ORIGINAL STORY: DayZ creator Dean Hall has revealed that the game has now shifted more than 2m copies of the game's original Arma 2 mod and sold 1.7m copies of the standalone package.

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VideoVideo: See DayZ played the hardcore way

First-person survival horror as Ian terrifies himself on DayZ's more challenging servers.

Is there any better way to see out the working week than watch someone s**t themselves up through the wonder of a video game? Well do we have a treat for you!

VideoVideo: How a town is born in DayZ

Chernarus town planning.

Ah, Chernarus, with your epic vistas and your rolling green countryside. Sweet Chernarus, with your hamlets and towns, and with you adorable little town of Stary Sobor. Dear, dear Chernarus, with your mobs and zombies and stale stench of death.

VideoWatch us play DayZ with Dean Hall

Yesterday's livestream in full.

UPDATE: It's finished! You can still catch the livestream in all its glory below, though - and we'll be bringing you more from Bohemia's offices over the coming week.

VideoVideo: Let's Play DayZ: Bromance turns to tragedy

Ian joins forces with James from Outside Xbox.

If you've subscribed to our Twitch channel, you may have seen that Ian has been live-streaming the DayZ alpha for several hours a day for the last few days. In the moments we remember most fondly, he has even joined forces with Outside Xbox's James Hills.

VideoWatch us play DayZ - for five hours straight

Undead marathon kicks off at 1pm today.

DayZ's quite popular, isn't it? Even with a half-hearted plea from its developers not to jump in just yet, the standalone on Steam early access is racing towards a million sales, which isn't bad considering the actual beta's pretty much at least a year away.

Do not expect DayZ beta before end of 2014

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.

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".

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DayZ sells 800,000 copies in under a month

DayZ is rampant; official sales are now up to 800,000 in under a month, revealed Dean Hall, the game's creator, on Reddit.

"We (Bohemia and I) had very ambitious plans for 2014 already, however this amount of sales was completely unexpected. Honestly, 250k within a quarter was what I would have considered a success. So to move nearly 800,000 in under a month is crazy," he wrote.

"We'll be finalising our roadmap in mid January, but it is safe to say that this kind of result will be having a very positive effect on that roadmap."

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DayZ week-one sales rocket past 400,000

DayZ week-one sales rocket past 400,000

Had a very Merry Christmas indeed.

Good things really do come to those who wait, as developer Bohemia revealed that more than 400,000 people bought DayZ during its first week on Steam Early Access sale. It was released on 16th December for 20.

Other week-one highlights, revealed in a Christmas update on the game's tumblr, include 40,000 concurrent users, three patches released and creator Dean Hall laying out the immediate future of the still-in-development game.

The rolling stone of success may cause people otherwise not interested in DayZ to sit up and take note. But Bohemia issued a warning to those such onlookers, reminding them of the unfinished nature of the game.

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DayZ alpha review

DayZ alpha review

Hiking prices.

Eurogamer's alpha and beta reviews are reviews of games that are still in development but are already being offered for sale or funded by micro-transactions. They offer a preliminary verdict but have no score attached. For more information, read our editor's blog.

I knew I shouldn't have gone back to Zelenogorsk, but I did anyway. The twisting streets of DayZ's smallest city are located in a bowl-shaped depression fringed by forested hillsides, with a large expanse of open ground between the two. It's a sniper's paradise, prowled by bandits searching for a catch slightly bigger than the completely new, equipment-less players who swarm the larger cities to the southeast.

But that's not why I thought twice about going back. Last time I was there, a man held me at gunpoint while his friend beat me about the head with a baseball bat. I only escaped that situation by running like Rincewind, and I wasn't keen on risking a repeat of the scenario. But I was desperate for a drink and short on ammo, and since Zelenogorsk has a military barracks and a supermarket, there was a good chance I would find plenty of both.

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Well, that came from nowhere. Dean Hall finally dropped the DayZ standalone on Steam last night, though there are plenty of caveats - it's an early alpha that's supposedly some 12 months off from entering beta phase, meaning it's complete with all the game-breaking bugs that made its predecessor famous.

Have traditional MMOs had their time?

And what do we make of the shared-world games and MOBAs that have risen up to replace them?

Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process - especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic - while the term "MMO" has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online.

Rezzed developer sessions to be streamed online

Watch PC and indie panels, live demos and developer talks all through this weekend.

With Rezzed 2013 now just a few days away, we can finally confirm that the full schedule of developer sessions will be broadcast live here and on the Eurogamer YouTube channel this Saturday and Sunday. Yay!

Dean Hall interested in bringing DayZ Standalone to PS4

Has already been approached by Sony and Microsoft, but is focusing on the PC version for now.

Cult favourite massively multiplayer curio DayZ could be coming to PS4, according to the mod's creator, Dean Hall, who's currently working on a standalone version of the Arma 2 mod.

DayZ Standalone: the first and extended gameplay video footage

DayZ Standalone: the first and extended gameplay video footage

Creator Dean Hall talks through some of the changes.

The first video of DayZ Standalone has been released.

It's nearly 15 minutes long and features the game's creator, Dean "Rocket" Hall, explaining what you're seeing. DayZ operations manager Matt Lightfoot talks along, too.

Lightfoot and Hall demonstrate the game's log-in screen and simplified menus. They also run together through the game world, playing dress-up and showing character customisation. Lightfoot could do with some trousers.

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Games of 2012: DayZ

Diary of the dead.

Like all the best zombie games, DayZ isn't really about zombies at all - it's about the way that the presence of zombies and their implications make people behave. But DayZ was the only zombie game this year where that behaviour was all down to you and other real people rather than a fictional cast of characters. It's for that reason that many people feel DayZ isn't just one of the best zombies games, but the best outright.

VideoWatch Dean Hall's DayZ Standalone session from the Eurogamer Expo

Video recovered from down the back of YouTube's sofa.

One of the most popular developer sessions at this year's Eurogamer Expo was Dean Hall's presentation and lengthy audience Q&A about the new standalone version of DayZ. Those of you who attended or watched it live on YouTube told us it was among your favourites.

Bohemia "would be stupid" not to bring DayZ to consoles

Producer cites Minecraft's XBLA success, hints at digital release.

It's no secret that cult ArmA 2 mod DayZ will be getting a standalone PC release, courtesy of publisher Bohemia Interactive. The big question now is, will the game also come to consoles?

Impressive fake DayZ, Sleeping Dogs, BioShock, Secret World, Lollipop Chainsaw movie trailers

DayZ has been the break out phenomenon of PC gaming this year. What would it look like adapted as a film? Renowned YouTube fake movie trailer maker Bloodrunsclear has had a stab at finding out.

His fake DayZ movie trailer uses sound bites from the horrific Miami face-eating incident; Peter Gabriel's version of My Body is a Cage; and clips from numerous zombie films (and other genres) to create a rousing montage - a look at what could be.

DayZ creator Dean Hall tweeted a link to the video this morning.

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War Z gameplay footage: the DayZ comparisons continue

Just how similar is MMO The War Z gameplay to DayZ? That's the most pertinent question surrounding The War Z at the moment.

A new gameplay video, fresh out of PAX, shines a bit of light on the topic.

I asked our DayZ Video Diary author James Hills what he thought after watching the video, and he told me the two games were "very similar". The War Z zombies looked to be better animated and more detailed, he added, and the loot system looked easier to use.

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DayZ's Dean Hall: Rocket Man Rising

DayZ's creator on the mod's past, present and standalone future.

For over a million people, Dean 'Rocket' Hall, creator of ArmA 2 mod DayZ, is responsible for some of the most emotive stories to come from a game in 2012. But he'd be hard pressed to recount how any of those stories have played out or how their inevitable, often gut-wrenching, ends came to be written.

Bohemia feared the reaction to a standalone DayZ game

"They might feel it was not fair because they had to pay money for something that was initially free if they owned Arma 2."

Developer Bohemia Interactive dallied on signing Dean Hall - creator of wildly popular ArmA 2 zombie mod DayZ - on board to make a standalone game because it "feared how they [players] may react."

VideoDay Z Video Diary, Day 5: The Best Laid Plans

In which James is tempted off course by a helicopter wreck.

Make a plan - and stick to it. That was Day Z creator Dean Hall's advice to struggling zombie apocalypse survivor James Hills - Eurogamer TV's video editor - in Day 3 of his video diary of life in the game. And it's a plan that turned the panic and disaster of days 1 and 2 into the heroic survivalism of day 4.

VideoDay Z Video Diary, Day 4: First Blood

In which James is defeated by a hay bale, sees an unlikely bus stop, and takes his first shot in anger.

Is it confidence, or hubris? Day 4 of our Day Z video diary finds Eurogamer TV's cameraman and editor James Hills in high spirits after the successful raids of Day 3. Armed with tips from creator Dean Hall, the panicky and frightened refugee of episodes 1 and 2 is now a wary survivor with a game plan.

Standalone DayZ confirmed

Standalone DayZ confirmed

Dean "Rocket" Hall hails "fairy-tale outcome".

DayZ, the zombie survival modification sensation, will be released as a standalone game.

Creator Dean "Rocket" Hall confirmed the news on the DayZ dev blog. The game will be developed with Hall as project lead and ArmA maker Bohemia Interactive as publisher, following a Minecraft-style model for release.

"That's right, this is actually happening," Hall wrote.

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VideoDay Z Video Diary, Day 2: The Lost Art of Running Away

In which James meets a cow, dreams of an island paradise and accidentally dooms a friendly player.

If you watched the first episode of our Day Z video diary, you'll know that Eurogamer TV's James Hills had a harrowing experience at the hands of another player on his first day as a clueless survivor of the zombie apocalypse.

VideoDay Z Video Diary, Day 1: Friend or Foe?

In which a clueless James stumbles into the zombie survival game and meets his first player. What happened next?

Day Z, the hot zombie survival mod for PC military sim Arma 2, is the end of the world as it really would be. You arrive in its post-apocalyptic wasteland with no tools or weapons, and - if it's your first go - no idea how to get them. You're lost. There's no mini-map or objective marker hovering helpfully in your vision. Other human beings might give you a helping hand, or they might shoot you for a tin of beans. Death is permanent.

ArmA 2 1.62 patch notes: improves DayZ stability

ArmA 2 1.62 patch notes: improves DayZ stability

"A lot" of fixes to multiplayer.

Patch 1.62 has been rolled out for ArmA 2/DayZ, Bohemia has announced.

This will make "zombie hunts less prone to crashes and should improve server stability", Bohemia wrote, referencing DayZ - the booming hardcore zombie mod for ArmA 2.

The patch highlights are:

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DayZ doppleganger The War Z announced

DayZ doppleganger The War Z announced

Dean Hall predicted it would happen.

DayZ creator Dean Hall predicted that the incredible popularity of his ArmA 2 persistent online zombie mod would mean that experience would become a standalone game, whether he built it or not.

He was right.

Introducing The War Z, a zombie survival MMO developed by Hammerpoint Interactive and published by Arktos Entertainment Group.

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VideoWatch Dean "Rocket" Hall's huge Rezzed Q&A for DayZ

On the standalone game, dogs and much more.

There were a few developer sessions at this year's inaugural Rezzed show that were so full we had to turn people away. One was Peter Molyneux, obviously (who did not disappoint - he swore, he used the word "sperms", it was generally amazing), and another was Randy Pitchford, who did a long demo of Borderlands 2 and spent ages answering questions from the audience.

DayZ designer Dean "Rocket" Hall to speak at Rezzed

Zombie survival sim also playable on show floor.

It's been called a lot of things already. Perhaps it's the best zombie game ever made. To others it's an increasingly rare Actual New Game. Playing it is nothing if not memorable. All this and DayZ is still in alpha.

The Future of DayZ

Creator Dean Hall on what's next for his extraordinary ArmA 2 mod.

It's a telling sign of just how stagnant the current console gen's Autumn years have got that one of the most exciting and talked-about games in the month's leading up to E3 2012 is a PC mod.