It was only a matter of time until ArmA II zombie mod DayZ spawned a fully-fledged stand-alone title.
And that’s exactly what we have in the form of The War Z, which IGN reports is being developed by previously unheard of Hammerpoint Interactive and published by the little-known Arktos Entertainment.
Like DayZ, it will offer gamers the chance to fight and scavenge for survival amidst the fallout of a zombie apocalypse. And like DayZ, the game will be deliberately unforgiving in its nature.
“While we began developing our game before DayZ, we've been encouraged by fact that DayZ has become so popular,” Arktos’ executive producer Sergey Titov stated. “And yes, of course some of our latest design decisions were influenced by the DayZ community forums.
“We started thinking about doing a zombie game last year and began developing a quest-based MMO set in a large, zombie infested world. Players would be able to explore and ‘unlock’ new areas on the map as they progress through quests assigned to them in-game.
“When DayZ was released to the public we were really excited to see another game that was akin to what we were working on – we were like ‘wow, that’s cool, we’re not the only ones making something like this’. As we saw the popularity of DayZ grow, and how players and the community were reacting, we realized two things – first, there was validation that our idea of making a zombie MMO was actually right and that there is a market/player base for it, and second, we decided to abandon the idea of unlocking parts of the map as you progress – rather, the player will be able to freely roam the world and gather information and quests by exploring notes, diaries, etc left behind by both real players and NPCs.”
And to his credit, Hammersmith’s senior games designer Eric Nordin isn’t afraid to admit the extent to which his team will draw influence for DayZ.
“Most of our team members are fans of DayZ. We love the way DayZ was able to capture the primal feel of being alone in a big hostile environment, where your biggest enemies are not necessarily zombies, but other players,” he admitted.
“And these other players are no different from you – they’re scared humans who are trying to survive - this is the same feel we want to capture in WarZ.
“The major difference is that DayZ is a fantastic mod for a hardcore military simulation game, so it is all set in that type of environment. We are creating a standalone game, with the entire world designed around a zombie apocalypse, so that players feel completely immersed in that environment. We want players to see the signs of struggle and destruction from humans fighting with zombies and have that sense of fear and anxiety when they are exploring the world.”