DayZ producer: “Youtube and Twitch are the entire force behind DayZ's success”

dayz twitch youtube brian hicks bohemia interactive

Bohemia’s almost sold 3 million copies of DayZ. “We're about 100,000 copies under that,” DayZ’s producer Brian Hicks tells me over Skype. “Around 2.9m, but we're damn near.” It’s an unmitigated success and Bohemia did that with “nearly $0 marketing budget.”

Hicks says that “Youtube and Twitch are the entire force behind DayZ's success.”

The DayZ mod bloomed in popularity within months of its release. Pulling in more than a million unique players within its first four months. Its popularity drove hundreds of thousands of sales of Arma 2 and convinced Bohemia to develop a full standalone release of the game. It’s thanks to Youtubers and Twitch streamers that word of DayZ spread so quickly.

There were points when DayZ was the number one game on Twitch. “We were above Dota, League, and Starcraft,” Hicks says.

The DayZ Survivor GameZ event - a Hunger Games style eSport setup up by a group of DayZ fans - was one of the most watched events on the streaming service, Hicks says. “Our peak viewership, and keep in mind this is from a small team based off a hobby and a mod, we had 62,000 concurrents. That's more people than were playing DayZ by three times.

“My personal opinion, since we have nearly $0 marketing budget – our marketing is me and Dean going to shows and interacting with consumers – I'd say Youtube and Twitch are the entire force behind DayZ's success.”

Hicks says its DayZ’s sandbox that draws in streamers; it spawns unique stories. It “ties into the strengths both survival games and DayZ have: they're not as much defined linear and narrative game worlds as they are a narrative toolset to create your own stories.

“It sounds so PR-ish but you can't design this. You cannot force the kind of emergent gameplay you get when you put 50 people in Chernarus and give them the tools to do whatever the hell they want.”

Anyone who plays DayZ will find complete player freedom means that you fill find a murderous psychopath. Someone who isn’t looking to trade for your supplies. They will kill you where you stand simply because you crossed their path. In a moment you can lose everything. However, Hicks argues this, too, is why DayZ appeals to streamers and players. “I've 3,000+ hours in DayZ, Hicks says. “Even I hate it when someone catches me off guard and I lose everything, or they kill me, or take all my stuff, or they handcuff me and leave me to die. It sucks. But those horrible experiences create so much value and power for the positive experiences. The impact of running across a real hero in DayZ is so much more powerful because of the existence psycopaths, bandits, and murderers.

“It makes when you come out on top so much more satisfying.”

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Fattox avatarNaso avatarKeefBaker avatarBECKS avatar
BECKS Avatar
7
BECKS(137 days 21 hours played)
1 Year ago

Great

3
Fattox Avatar
457
Fattox(1 hour played)
1 Year ago

Successful cash-grab, must feel satisfying as fuuuu... sure.

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Everyone i know (myself included) that owns this still plays the mod(s) version rather than the buggy standalone mess.

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I wish i could enjoy it as much as some people do, but it's just too bad and buggy for me to enjoy it, and that's even when compared to the original mod. It's not like it was a cheap game either... -_-

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Personally, i think the player interaction he mentions is far better than the zombies, which are the source of most of the bugginess. That's why ArmA 3 Wasteland is my favourite mod. Though that's aimed far more at PvP than (occasional) co-operation. I can say at least that things like handcuffing, hold-ups and and such can make for some interesting scenarios in DayZ.

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Hopefully this is finally polished for the 2016 release, it's been quite dormant for most of the past 13 months in my library.

1
KeefBaker Avatar
379
KeefBaker(58 minutes played)
1 Year ago

Yeah, last time I played the full version it was just broken. I'll be giving it another chance when it's fully released. At that point I'll see if it's for me.

2
Naso Avatar
17
Naso(1 day 6 hours played)
1 Year ago

I don't agree with you.

1
Fattox Avatar
457
Fattox(1 hour played)
1 Year ago

I wouldn't expect everyone to. There's lots of people i see on streams and forums who enjoy it. But of course, lots of unhappy chappies like me too.

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Part of me feels like i'm missing out on the crazy things that happen. But the few times i've fired up the game, i've ended up uninstalling it for a few more months, to wait for more bugfixes.

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Until that day, ArmA 3 (+mods) wins out for me.

1
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