It was the surprise hit of late 2013, but DayZ still, remarkably, remains in alpha on Steam Early Access.
That's all about to change, however, with the game's next patch preparing to take the game into beta.
The still PC-only DayZ shifted nearly 1m units and made over 20m in revenue in just its first four weeks on sale in the run-up to Christmas in 2013. A few months later a console port was already being talked about, and the game even featured on Sony's stage at E3 that year.
However, a year later the game was shedding players and those who did remain were beginning to complain of slow updates and persistant issues that were not being addressed.
Nowadays the game has only a 'Mixed' review rating on Steam, with its recent review rating being a 'Mostly Negative'. And a console release is still nowhere to be found.
This game is in its 4th year of development and is still in alpha, even after selling 3 million copies. That's about all you need to know,” one user said, although the issues were not enough to stop them clocking up 295 hours in the game.
Steam should remove this game from the store,” another said, who seemingly has had their fill after 196 hours.
Another user with a whopping 1,239 hours under their belt, added: I've gotten more than my money's worth out of this game, and have had a lot of fun with it. But this game should stand as a testament to Early Access games. Don't ever ever, simply put 'faith' into a development team.
A company should develop a game into a completed state, and then sell it to its target audience. They shouldn't release a broken game on Early Access, and make their millions before the game is even half done. At the end of the day, the only reason this team has to finish this game is good PR. Money is no longer a driving factor, and the pace of development (or lack thereof) reflects this.
DayZ's biggest problem now is that while its emergent gameplay remains top notch, many of its fundamental systems continue to frustrate – and while these elements stand still, other games such as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds have emerged and effortlessly bettered these aspects.