Seven days ago, His Royal Rocketess Dean Hall revealed that DayZ standalone sales had reached “nearly 800,000 in under a month”. That’s roughly 200k per week, which brings us a week later to one million copies sold - a victory for maths, not to mention Steam users’ continuing enthusiasm for Czech countryside survivalism.
Well, 1 million copies in 4 weeks. So much for the death of PC Gaming. #DayZDaily
— Dean Hall (@rocket2guns) January 13, 2014
It feels as if DayZ’s been a success for absolutely yonks. But it’s important to remember that this is the first point that Bohemia have seen any return on their monetary investment - and Dean Hall on the investment of the last few years of his life.
“We're just blown away with the success of it,” Hall told Polygon. “We obviously knew that there was strong interest in the concept, but weren't sure whether that interest was just ‘hype’ or whether it would actually translate into real sales. I remember when we finally pushed the button, I had this moment of panic when I wondered if many people would really buy it.”
Hall’s Arma II mod first released in 2012, and in the following year dramatically increased sales of its parent game. On its standalone alpha launch in December 2013, DayZ made more than $5.17m in its first 24 hours - even after Hall told players that buying early would be a recipe for disappointment.
Today, Hall pointed out that between DayZ and Rust, Steam’s top-selling chart has been taken hostage by games still in alpha: “This has got to be a 'shots fired' moment for those in the traditional publishing model, and their investors.”
“The concept of Kickstarter and early access games is not without problems, and I think we've yet to see the full extent of that,” he went on. “But what this says to me is that gamers crave real creativity in their games along with engagement in the process, and that the ‘indie’ way is not just restricted to small projects in fringe games. It's big and serious business now.”
Hear hear. Oh, and Dean? Don’t worry: nobody’s had to check PC gaming’s pulse for half a decade now.