It’s no secret that Dean Hall, lead developer on DayZ (which you should play if our DayZ review has anything to say), plans to move on from Bohemia Interactive at the end of this year. What we didn’t know is that he was doing it to make a tycoon game. Hall admits this “sounds really weird and random.”
“I’m already prototyping two new games,” he told our Tim at E3 last week. “One of them I was already working on before DayZ. It’s a tycoon game, which sounds really weird and random.”
The other game Hall is referring to is likely the one inspired by his ascent of Everest.
He didn’t give Tim any more details of the tycoon game but he did explain his reasons for leaving Bohemia at the height of DayZ’s development. “All this happened so fast and, while I had a lot of good skills, I think I’ve been really good at pushing for radical change and radical development in scope approaches, but that’s not the best way to stabilise what we have now.
“I’ll always be involved but, largely, from my perspective, there are things that I wanted to do with it and when I’ve done those I can move on.”
He won’t be starting development of his next game alone, though. Hall plans on forming a new studio in New Zealand. “Queenstown is the place I’m looking at,” he said. “They call it the venture capital of New Zealand.
“One of my lessons from DayZ is I didn’t spend enough time planning for success, and dramatic success, which mean there was a lot of reactivity. I see that in our dev blogs and, while it’s kind of cute sometimes, that we’re a bit disorganised, going forwards getting a bit more organised about doing those things before actually doing those things is important.”
Hall also made clear that it was always his plan to leave Bohemia. “It was never a permanent thing. I was supposed to go for six months, this is my third year. It’s always rolling on by a few months, so you’re always just about to go home, and that’s exhausting.” He says the decision to move isn’t because he’s homesick, he’s been used to moving around a lot since his time with the army, but because he gets frustrated, “sometimes it feels like I’m treading water.”
After Hall leaves Bohemia there’s little chance the studio will abandon DayZ. Even while still only in Early Access, DayZ’s sold more than 2.5 million copies. There will be year’s of zombie survival still to come.