The Day Z alpha mod is still gaining traction. Amid a slew of zombie games promising the world to players with endless features and the latest graphic options, a buggy alpha mod known as Day Z reigns supreme. Now plastered up on the official game website and released in an official Twitter update, Day Z alpha has surpassed 1 million unique players.
Created by a single person development team consisting of Dean Hall, the ARMA 2 open world zombie mod was inspired by Dean’s experience in the New Zealand Army. It must have been pretty rough, as Day Z has a reputation of being one of the most realistic and thrilling games in the industry. It is also one of the most successful, even generating more active players than the MMO Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which recently went free to play due to subscriber concerns.
Even in the realm of monetization, ARMA 2 has consistently been in the top 3 Steam sales for a good bit of time thanks to Day Z.
All of this after being available for a mere 4 months, with most of the success being attributed to word of mouth and genuinely interested gamers. In a nutshell, it is any AAA title publisher’s dream. What it comes down to, however, is quite simple: the game is just a lot of fun.
Day Z Alpha Outpaces Major Titles By Simply Being Good
And that really is the key to the success of this game, which boasts over 2.1 billion zombies killed in-game, 4 million murdered players, and countless hours spent traversing the huge game world. I’ve personally been drawn in by the game as well, which is exceptionally fun with a group of friends (just head over to the Day Z Reddit if you need to find a crew). Very few games offer up the sensation of sprinting through the jungle as your allies are taken down by enemy players, or walking into a seemingly-desserted city to be met with whizzing bullets from an unknown location.
So is it any wonder that the concept is being copied and morphed into an MMO? Hammerpoint Interactive now seeks to capitalize on some of Day Z’s success with the announcement of The War Z, a zombie MMOFPS that is heavily inspired (some would say a copy of) Day Z. In a show of interest, The War Z beta actually received over 100,000 sign ups for its closed beta after being only 2 weeks old. The War Z may have to compete against its very inspiration, however.
Day Z hopes to go standalone this year as long as everything goes well. In its current state it faces a large number of bugs, so it could take a while, but it will be well worth the wait. With 1 million players currently playing Day Z in its alpha state, imagine the number of players it could bring in after being fully polished by a full team of developers. The success of Day Z alpha shows just how integral the world of modding is for the gaming industry, allowing even one individual to appeal to over 1 million players.