The standalone version of Dean Hall's DayZ mod for Arma 2 will be released for puchase in alpha form by December 2012, the mod's creator confirmed in an appearance at Eurogamer Expo (via Eurogamer). Hall promised that it will be "cheap" since he'll be following the Minecraft model of releasing an unfinished game and developing it as the community helps to highlight what works and what doesn't.
Hall stressed that December isn't just the targeted release window, it's a necessity. "We've decided that we don't need to sell a heap of units in order for us to be OK with where it's going," he explained. "The more units we sell of it, the more ambitious we get, because the project has better resources."
It's a bit like a Kickstarter in that way, only the money you'll spend buys you an actual product right then and there. It's just going to be an unfinished work-in-progress, but that certainly didn't seem to hurt Minecraft as Mojang evolved it from its rough alpha state into the global sensation that it's become.
Hall is aiming for January 2013 and beyond to implement "more ambitious features," but the need for a December release is based largely on competition DayZ faces. Hall stopped short of saying anything unkind about The War Z, which seeks to offer a similar experience, but he admitted that the rush to release is to stem off the threat posed by potential "clones."
"I could stand up here and be very critical of anyone who does a clone copy of the game. What would that actually achieve other than making me look like a dick? It's not going to result in a better game," he said.
"I have to be realistic about it and say the responsibility is on me to make a good game. And that's just life."