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Last Updated August 20, 2022

DayZ is a video game about survival that Bohemia Interactive created and released. It is the sole replacement for the ARMA 2 DayZ Mod of the same name. The game was officially published in December 2018 for Windows after a five-year early access period, and it was released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2019.

The location for ARMA 2's original game, Chernarus, a fictitious post-Soviet republic where a mystery illness has transformed the majority of the populace into violent "Infected," is where the player is placed in this simulation. To survive the outbreak, the player must forage the environment for weapons, water, food, and medication while also killing or dodging the infected and murdering, weaving, or collaborating with other players.

DayZ's development started in 2012 when Dean Hall, the man behind the mod, joined Bohemia Interactive and started working on the game's standalone iteration. The main goals of the development have been to adapt the engine to the game's requirements, create a functional client-server architecture, and add new features like illnesses and a more effective inventory system. During early access, the game shifted over three million copies.


Staying alive and healthy while dealing with the zombie epidemic that has afflicted the game's planet is the aim of DayZ. The fictitious post-Soviet Republic of Chernarus' expansive 225 km2 (87 sq mi) environment must be explored by the player, who starts with only some essential clothing, a glow stick, and half a bandage. 

Next, the player must look inside places, including homes, farms, and flats, to scavenge resources. Food and water are among these resources, and they are essential for extending the player's life. Beyond the bare necessities of existence, players may discover several types of clothes that allow for customization, additional supply storage, and warmth. Several weaponry is also dispersed across the battlefield, enabling players to defend themselves against other players and zombies as needed. 

There are some guns among these and accessories like suppressors and telescopic sights, but the emphasis is primarily on various melee weapons. The game also includes gas assaults, which release lethal gas, causing the gamer to bleed and vomit before falling unconscious and dying unless they leave the area and get appropriate medical attention. 

To avoid harm, characters may wear NBC suits and gas masks. Gameplay in DayZ is heavily reliant on player input. Both text and voice chat is available in the game. Additionally, it offers in-game actions like waving or raising your hands to submit.

Players may also locate various medical items while exploring the terrain since their characters face a variety of hazards from the environment. Among the planned features are ailments like hepatitis, dysentery, and cholera, which can be contracted by consuming contaminated food or water and require suitable medications to treat. 

In addition, items on a player's person may be harmed if shot or wounded. For example, as soon as the player starts bleeding, they need to be wrapped to stop blood flow as quickly as possible; if they lose too much blood, their vision will seriously deteriorate, and they risk going unconscious.

Building bases in the real world where players may store their belongings safe is one of the game's planned features. Programmable computers and security systems have also been given some thought. The standalone video game will improve on the text and close-quarters voice calls of the optimization by adding a whisper medium, which will let players communicate across a concise range without other players nearby hearing them, along with radios, which will enable longer-range communication and possibly include secured two-way radios and run by player radio stations. Several new features include cooking and animal hunting the release.


Dean Hall revealed in an August 2012 developer blog that DayZ will start developing as a standalone game, with Bohemia Interactive and Dean himself serving as project director, following the enormous popularity of the DayZ mod. To "accomplish what we need to do," he claimed, the video game needed to be launched before the year was over and that he desired to be released first around November 2012. 

The Take On Aircraft engine, a component of the True Virtuality engine, will power the game, and "critical concerns", including bug hacking, security, and fixing, will be the critical areas of development attention.

Increasing the number of enterable buildings was one of the developing goals to give the environment a more genuine feel. Instead of taking no chances, Hall indicated that he wanted to incorporate silly ideas into the video game to see what people liked. The game has a client-server architecture, which means that decisions about spawning items and NPCs are made on the server instead on the player's computer. In contrast, the DayZ mod for ARMA 2 executed a significant percentage of these activities on the client. This modification intends to do so to lessen the number of exploits and hacks that are available. 

Additionally, the new engine could eliminate ARMA 2's redundant features, such as AI flanking. The game will be distributed digitally through Steam, enabling the utilization of the Steam network browser and patching features, as initially stated in November.

The whole "saga" of the production "made me wonder if I wanted to be part in the business," Hall said in a Reddit post after the problematic release of the comparable game The War Z, adding that he had thought about abandoning the DayZ standalone production. However, game developers "had the potential to go from building a game that was simply the mod enhanced somewhat... to genuinely revamping the engine and creating the video game the way we all thought it might be," according to a January 2013 development update that explained why the game had not yet been launched. Instead, the game's release date was moved up, and an exclusive closed test was started before it was revealed that no public testing would occur until the network architecture was complete.

Dean Hall confirmed in March 2014 that Bohemia Interactive had acquired Cauldron Studios, a brand-new development team whose 25 developers will be recruited to the DayZ engineering team. DayZ was announced on the PS4 system at Gamescom 2014, with an undetermined release date. The game's Xbox One version was introduced during E3 2015. It was also revealed that the game would eventually have single-player mode and Steam Workshop compatibility, which gives users access to host servers.


On December 16, 2013, Steam's Early Access programme offered the first publicly accessible development build for a lower cost than when it would eventually be available. As work goes on, the price will rise until it reaches the final release cost. The project team is aiming this alpha release at users who wish to participate in what Hall described as a " barebones interface that is a basis for future growth." 

It is expanding quickly, and many features are still being developed. On August 29, 2018, the Xbox Game Preview for the Xbox One would launch the game, which was announced at Gamescom 2018. DayZ was formally taken out of early access on December 13 for Windows and in early 2019 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.


Over 172,500 copies of the alpha version were sold in the initial 24 hours, generating over $5 million in revenue. Around 200 game copies were being bought per minute at its height, and after a week, more than 400,000 hard copies were sold. So while holding the #1 spot on Steam's sales rankings for a couple of weeks, the game sold more than one million copies. Although Rick Lane of Eurogamer gave a good assessment of the new features in his alpha assessment of DayZ, he cautioned that the game might not be worth the asking price until further aspects have been added. On the other side, Craig Pearson of Computer Tablets claimed that DayZ was already worthwhile because of his positive experiences with it.

More than two million copies of the game were sold by May 2014, growing by November 2018 to over four million. However, due to "illicit or forbidden drug usage tied to incentives or prizes," which resulted from one of the options in the game to regain health being a joint of marijuana, the game was momentarily banned in Australia in August 2019. This feature was not included in the game by default and could only be accessed through community-created modifications. The restriction was lifted after Bohemia modified the game to adhere to the Australian Classification Board's requirements completely.


Awarded Best Hybrid MMO by MMORPG.com at PAX East 2013 was DayZ, garnering 15% of the vote; it defeated 49 other games to win the IGN People's Choice Award at Gamescom 2013. In addition, DayZ took both the Best Original Game and Best Indie Game honours at the 2014  Joystick Awards.

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