The lights are on
Dean “Rocket” Hall, creator of the DayZ (not to be confused with The War Z) mod, explained at the Game Developers Conference that the upcoming standalone game almost included a free-to-play model.
"When I looked at signing with a bunch of companies, some of them were interested in free-to-play,” Hall said at his GDC talk. “We're talking a lot of money, like stupid money. I felt like – I just knew it wouldn't work. DayZ is about survival and not buying your way into it. I still think there's room for free-to-play games – I've got one idea I think could actually work quite well as a free-to-play game – but it's like trying to cram a round peg into a square hole."
Hall went on to explain that the game is about what you pay for – not what can be purchased later.
"The DayZ experience is about what you find in the world, so introducing a shop and things like that, like cosmetic items – it's not about cosmetic items," Hall said. "There are no cosmetic items in DayZ – it's not like, 'I worked at Burger King for an hour and bought this hat,' you know; it's 'I found that hat in a barn fight.'"
DayZ is currently in development. A launch of the alpha build is expected this summer, with the game going through some development delays.