The history of the PlayStation 4 version of DayZ has many twists and turns but it will finally be released tomorrow, 29th May. If you want to know how we got to this point then pull up a comfy a chair, this may take a while.
DayZ came in to existence as a mod for PC game Arma II, an open world military simulation video game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive. Created by Dean Hall in April 2012 the mode transformed the game in to a perma-death zombie nightmare and helped propel the ageing title back to the top of the Steam charts. In August the same year it was announced that DayZ would be spun off in to it’s own game and developed alongside Arma II.
At the time a version for consoles not on the cards, “You’re not going to put it on the consoles if you’re only going to sell 100,000 units or something like that,” said Hall. “DayZ will be driven by its PC development and it will innovative on that. And, once we’re at a point, we’ll take it and do a Mac version, 360 and PS3.”
Bohemia producer Jan Kunt added that it would “make sense to go for consoles,” at some point. However, by April 2013 no work had begun on the console version but Deal Hall did state that “Sony are interested” in getting the game on the newly announced PlayStation 4 console.
August 2014 saw the announce Gamescom conference and Sony took to the stage to announce that DayZ was indeed coming to PlayStation 4. There were no trailers or details, just the announcement, and that was all we heard about the console version until 2016.
“The PC is our flagship platform for Day-Z,” lead designer Brian Hicks explained in September 2016. “That is where 99 per cent of our development resources are focused. And while there was a lot of push from Sony and Microsoft to get up on their stages and say ‘yes, we’re coming’, our focus has been exclusively (I want to say exclusively because there’s about a one per cent development resource trying to keep those platforms at a point at which, once we get to our beta and our bug fixing, we can start pushing forward on that) on the PC.”
However, there was a problem with Microsoft, back then Microsoft charged developers for patching and updating games and also insisted that every title had a publisher. “We’re happy to see DayZ on any console but there is a… I guess one problem,” Dean Hall told Edge, “The console needs to not charge for us to do updates and it needs to be indie title friendly.”
Dean was also asked if the two console giants were still charging developers a fee for releasing patches and bug fixes. “As far as I’m aware, Microsoft is, Sony’s not. And Sony allows you to self-publish. But who knows?” he said, “Maybe Microsoft will change. From our perspective, we need self-publishing because DayZ would be a great digital download title.”
As you know Microsoft did change and became the most indie friendly platform for the time, allowing Early Access titles to launch on the console. In December 2017 it was announced the game would leave Early Access on PC sometime in 2018 and that it would also launch on Xbox One as a timed console exclusive. “PS4 is also coming, but since Xbox has the Game Preview program, we can release sooner there,” tweeted the developers.
DayZ finally arrived on consoles in August 2018 when it launched on Xbox One but the reviews were not particularly good , most stating it still felt very bare-bones and unfinished despite being development for five years.
Alright, alright, it's time. @PlayStation 4 owners: #DayZ is finally coming! It was already spoiled a little bit, but tune in to https://t.co/n6r2fhsKxg tomorrow to know all the details! We'll have something cool to watch for the PC and Xbox players too :) pic.twitter.com/42WkjhenxD
— DayZ 🖥 🎮 ❤️ (@DayZ) May 27, 2019
That brings us up to this week when DayZ will launch on PS4, but will it be worth playing?