Zombie horror game DayZ has broken one million units in less than a month, and its creator believes it has trounced the traditional publishing model as a result.
Dean Hall, creator of the multiplayer zombie game, confirmed that the game’s early access version hit the milestone on Twitter, and later told Polygon that it indicated a “shots fired moment” against traditional game publishing.
“We're just blown away with the success of it,” he said.
“We obviously knew that there was strong interest in the concept, but weren't sure whether that interest was just ‘hype' or whether it would actually translate into real sales. I remember when we finally pushed the button, I had this moment of panic when I wondered if many people would really buy it.”
DayZ – Early Access went on sale on December 16th, and developer Bohemia Interactive warned that this unfinished version would be prone to bugs. In it’s first week it passed over 400,000 sales.
Now that over a million players have shown a desire to play the game, even in its unfinished state, Hall believes it makes PC self-publishing a force that publishers cannot ignore. DayZ and fellow indie title Rust are currently the two top selling games on Steam respectively.
“Previously with the mod I think traditional publishers could write DayZ off as a kind of anomaly. It was possible to think that this would not fully translate to the retail game in terms of real sales. This has got to be a ‘shots fired’ moment for those in the traditional publishing model, and their investors,” he add.
However, self-publishing has been going on in the PC for years and other indie titles have managed to generate a comparable level of buzz prior to their full release, just as DayZ has. Most notably, Minecraft, which surpassed 10 million registered users before its official PC release in November 2012.