Bohemia Interactive caught everyone by surprise recently, announcing that DayZ will be coming out on a new engine in just a couple of weeks. The company added that this has been the reason behind the game's lengthy stay in Early Access.
The new update is dropping in the upcoming PC 0.63 Experimental update, which Bohemia claim will "have a massive influence over how DayZ plays and feels in general."
The devs say they've been planning for this as well, claiming that DayZ's 0.63 update was always intended to introduce major gameplay changes, with additional features and content thrown in for good measure.
The Bohemians refrained from using the word "relaunch" though, seeing as how the game's been around for a while now. Indeed, the DayZ we're speaking of has been in Early Access since 2013 and many wondered whether it will ever launch.
Bohemia Interactive clarified the situation, claiming it's exactly these changes that brought about DayZ'a lengthy Early Access phase. "Bohemia started a development of a new Enfusion Engine along with DayZ standalone - an engine that's meant to empower our future games", they said.
From the day DayZ hits beta and up until its 1.0 version, most of the work will revolve around polishing and balancing of new features, as well as introducing smaller scale content. That's the plan, at least.
To be fair, DayZ better be smelling like a white mushroom after the new update, because Bohemia has sure taken their sweet time getting it out of the door. After all, five years is an eternity in game development terms.
In fact, it took Brendan Greene and Co two years to officially launch PUBG, which says enough really. Interestingly enough, Greene's love for Battle Royale started with DayZ: Battle Royale, a mod of a mod of ARMA 2.
In the meantime, the survival genre has turned into a fiercely competitive market segment. Daybreak Games' H1Z1, another title that Greene once worked on, has been forced into free-to-play waters and while we wish Bohemia and DayZ luck, we must add that it's because they'll probably need it. A lot.