In a status update earlier this week, the developers behind the survival experience DayZ have announced that the game will be leaving Early Access on Steam in 2018. Bohemia Interactive is currently working hard on experimental patch 0.63, which fans have been waiting for. That won't be happening this year though.
"I'll start right of the bat with one such thing: unfortunately, there will be no other major release this year," wrote DayZ lead producer Eugen Harton. "We already know that the scope we will be able to achieve by the end of 2017 does not represent a full DayZ experience, and therefore blocks the 0.63 Experimental release. I know the tone may be a bit grim, but from my personal experience as a gamer with DayZ, it's very hard to go back to 0.62 once you play even the broken internal version."
DayZ's PC beta will be coming in 2018. Harton outlined the features that won't be coming to the game that were promised in an earlier 2015 roadmap, including vehicle modification, barricading, aerial transport, bikes, and birds. The entire post is a pretty comprehensive list of what players can expect for the beta release. Near the end of the status update is where the magic is.
"As soon as the PC BETA is headed in a way we like, we're still committed to bringing DayZ to Xbox, where we have a large community of gamers patiently (very patiently!) waiting for a truly hardcore online survival game. All of that will (and must) happen next year - meaning we're just about to start what could possibly be the most exciting year for DayZ so far. In short: DayZ will be out of Early Access next year, and we'll also finally deliver it to console players in 2018," wrote Harton.
"2018 is going to be an important year for us in the studio, as our long term work finally makes its way out there. We sure take our time, but I truly believe that people only remember great games, and not how long it took to make them," he added.
DayZ has fallen far from its original place at the top of the Steam heap. Fans have been waiting on the game for a long time, with the Early Access launch happening way back in 2013. Most of the game's recent reviews are mixed, with an even number of negative and positive reviews. It's probably safe to say the industry has passed it by with other survival games like PlayerUnknown's Battleground, Ark: Survival Evolved, Rust, and H1Z1 having established themselves.
At this point, DayZ is nowhere to be found on the list of top Steam games by player count, a far cry from where the game began. Hopefully, Bohemia Interactive can finally make good on promises in 2018.