Why DayZ May Not Come to the Xbox One (And Why That’s Awesome)


Dean Hall, creator of the Arma II mod DayZ, has indicated that the standalone version of DayZ which is currently in alpha, will be coming to the next generation of consoles, but may not be released on the Xbox One due publishing and patching problems.

Microsoft does not allow indie developers to self-publish and they charge exorbitantly for patches. Think about the differences between Minecraft on the PC and Minecraft on the Xbox 360. Yea, that’s why. On the PlayStation 4, however, patching your titles is free and Sony does allow indie developers to self-publish, making the PS4 the more obviously attractive choice for indie developers. In regards to this, Hall said in the interview:

“The console needs to not charge for us to do updates and it needs to be indie title friendly.”

Naturally, this is making an Xbox One release look less and less likely. Also, given Sony’s patching policies, and the buggy nature of the game, Hall indicates how they may be a better fit,

“Why do we need the publisher? And why should we pay for updates? You know we are going to be updating this game for a year, so it kind of seems a bit stupid to me. Whereas, with the PlayStation 4, we can self-publish and we don’t have to pay for updates.”

Bandits robbing a lone player

Bandits robbing a lone player

With the zombie-survival premise and potential console release, DayZ could become a stiff contender for Undead Labs’ followup to State of Decay, code-name Class4. From where I’m standing, this looks great. If the Xbox gets passed up on this (which due to it’s stifling policies, it should be), we’ll see the first big exclusive zombie competition since, well…forever. The best is always born of the spirit of competition, and this might breathe life into this stagnating genre (pun intended.) Honestly, zombies are perfect for video games as they evoke a human-shaped, non-human for us to combat, however despite them having so much potential, zombie games haven’t really brought that spark of walking in on that first zombie in the original Resident Evil. It hasn’t been as exciting and visceral as running through an abandoned hospital teeming with the dead in Left 4 Dead. I mean look what we have recently: Resident Evil 6, Dead Rising 3, and they made a sequel to Dead Island for some reason. Yes, every genre will have it’s mediocre releases, and they should all be judged on their own merits, but I’m seeing a trend that probably shouldn’t be ignored. Maybe quality control is something that can be addressed with this potential exclusivity. This may engender a degree of effort we otherwise may not have seen.

My group holed up in a building for safety

On top of all that, why should Microsoft get it? They don’t really deserve it. Their suffocating policies have hampered free-flowing indie involvement, and MS’s money-grubbing habits have been blatantly obvious. They obviously don’t have the gamer in mind. We as consumers have an obligation to support fair practices, and the policies we believe in. It wasn’t the executives with all their money that were complaining about the Xbox One’s planned DRM, and creepy check-in features, it was the consumer. The internet, and Apple, Inc. have supported indie music artists, and now the face of industry is changed, and the music culture along with it. I mention this because I think that Sony, with their open and indie-friendly policies, could serve a similar purpose, as a portal for indie artists and creative freedom. We should support this, and indie devs should thus be running from Microsoft. This applies especially in the case of DayZ. We’re looking at a game that has been in-progress since it’s inception, and patches will probably be plentiful, and frequent.

The nature of DayZ as a “game in progress” has been highly beneficial for the game,absorbing the feedback of an active cult fan-base whose opinion is highly regarded by the creator and developers. Sony’s friendly adoption policies may also help DayZ compete neck-in-neck with Undead Labs’ Class4, and other titles stemming from their multi-year, multi-title deal with Microsoft. Dean Hall and Bohemia Interactive will continue creative support for DayZ for a long time to come, and Undead Labs will follow up State of Decay with other zombie MMOG’s. I’m just praying for this kind of exciting competition and the life it’ll breath into a dying genre (there I go again!) Let’s just hope Dean Hall does indeed pass up Microsoft for Sony, as the main console platform for DayZ to come out on. I would hate to see concessions be made for the sake of sales, but I don’t think Hall would do that.

Using a flashlight to search a hanger at night

That said, a console release for the zombie-survival simulator DayZ probably won’t be hitting the shelves any time soon. We on the PC version are still dealing with zombies that can run straight through walls and a very real possibility that you might accidentally clip through a window on the second floor and die, so there’s definitely some polishing left to do.

“They are all still up in the air, we still don’t know what will happen. We wouldn’t even think about [a console version] until we release it on PC.” – Dean Hall

Given that the PC edition is still in early alpha, a console release shouldn’t be expected until at least some time next year, and that’s if we’re lucky. I for one am throwing my support for Sony being the sole DayZ release platform. With such a long road ahead, and much left unknown, I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

*The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect SpawnFirst as a whole.