DayZ sells a million: Take that, traditional publishing model!

2 min read


DayZ by Bohemia interactive has sold a million in 4 weeks of its early access release. Creator Dean Hall in an email to Polygon said that DayZ selling a million it’s a bit of a “shots fired moment” against the traditional publishing model, favouring a non-traditional system.

“…. we’re just blown away with the success of it. We obviously knew that there was strong interest in the concept, but we we’re 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.”

DayZ started as a mod for Arma 2 which came out in 2012. Bohemia CEO Marek Spanel showed in December that the first standalone alpha of DayZ sold over 172,500 copies within 24 hours of release, totalling 5.17 million in sales. Hall pointed out that DayZ and Rust held the top two positions on Steam as of writing.

“Previously with the mod I think traditional publishers could write DayZ off as a kind of anomaly.  It was possible to think that this would not fully translate to the retail game in terms of real sales. 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, though, and I think we’ve yet to see the full extent of that. 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.”

DayZ is a huge success story for something that is still for all intents and purposes, a mod. The crowd funded success stories are becoming the norm, especially in the indie scene. I think of games like FTL and Risk of Rain when I think of early access and crowd funded gems. Is there any other industry where you can buy a work in progress version of a product? It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but DayZ shows that it can truly work.  

Last Updated: January 14, 2014


Once upon a time, in a land long forgotten, I wrote for this site. The details were gobbled up by an errant database, so instead you’re reading this painfully obtuse default bio.

  • RockMossel2014

    Will be getting this next month! Looks super awesome!

    • General JJ Raven (John)

      It’s on my wishlist and I’ve been so excited to get it.

      • RockMossel2014

        Have you seen the video I posted on Steam from Rust? It’s bloody hilarious!

        • General JJ Raven (John)

          Will go have a look. Had some internet issues the past week.

    • Bryan McCann

      Even though you know its not finished while playing, it still makes for one hell of an adventure.

  • Admiral Chief in Vegas

    How far before project completion? I really wanna jam this!

    • Gareth L (That Guy)

      At least a year.

      • Spathi

        ..for the beta 🙁

    • Scruff304

      A long time! But if you think you are ever play it in the future, it is worth getting now. Dean Hall has stated that they are looking at following the minecraft pricing model. So they have a set price at Alpha… Then at Beta price is increased. And then again at final release….. And then not long after that it is a steam summer sale and you are broke all over again and can’t afford to buy it anyways.

  • Gareth L (That Guy)

    I’m sick, sick, SICK of zombie games – and I am really intrigued by this game. It looks damn good.

    • Uberutang

      This is not a Zombie game. It is a simulator that shows you what utter bastards people are.

      • Gareth L (That Guy)

        Even better. So, can I bump their car door at the supermarket and drive off without leaving a note?

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas


        • Uberutang

          Yup, and that is after you abducted them and forced them to fight other shoppers naked for the honor of drinking disinfectant and die slowly.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Oh, Tuesday. o_O

      • RinceThis2014


  • Hammersteyn

    For a second I had WarZ in mind.

  • RinceThis2014

    Oh gods, more zombies? At this stage I’m about ready to ask Darryn if I can borrow his My Little Pony collection…

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      You have enough already, you addict!

      • RinceThis2014

        Although it is on 4 ‘legs’ that thing tied up in the basement is NOT a pony… 0-O

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Oh… I suppose I shouldn’t ask why it was purple & wearing a saddle then :/

          • RinceThis2014

            No, you shouldn’t. I am glad you didn’t mention the plunger though… 0-O

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Speaking of which, how is the search going for that missing plumber? I hope they find him.

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            I’d say get a room guys, but it appears you have a basement…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you Rince?

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Denial isn’t a river in Egypt Trev…

          • RinceThis2014

            Interpol have moved on to Constantia, thank goodness. Their noise was unbearable. Yes, that is the reason I am glad they have moved on, their noise. Oh, SO loud…

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    and this ontop of the description stating that the game is in serious Alpha and you must not buy it unless you are willing to have huge bugs and stuff. Woah. Impressive

  • Kromas

    1 Million Mod players ignored the warnings and immediately bought it. They are all happy now. 😛

  • Estian Hough

    Baby needs to suck patch…. BABY NEEDS TO SUCK PATCH!!!

    The only complaint I have about this game right now – is that it’s now taken them longer than 2 weeks to drop us a new patch.

    Come on guys, you’ve sold this game a million times! Now send me patches!

  • Mark Treloar

    How is this using a different publishing model?

    • Stephen Snook

      It was crowd funded and tested.

Check Also

James Cameron has zero chill about Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins puts him in his place

In possibly the highest profile example of mansplaining to date, director James Cameron (T…