DayZ Bounty is an unofficial mod developed by three DayZ players who started killing each other in the game one night and began to place bets on whether they could take each other down. In an interview with PC Gamer, creative development lead Jake Stewart said, "We're not trying to make money"; instead the developers want to set up a competitive but fun community with betting mechanics that provide an additional incentive to preserve your own life, on top of the game's existing zombies. Players spend between $5 and $20 to "buy in" with a certain number of lives for their character, and receive cash rewards through PayPal for kills.
According to James Ortiz, one of Stewart's partners, the DayZ Bounty developers want to keep the mod above board; they reached out to Bohemia for the studio's blessing and "have not heard anything back." However, a Bohemia representative told VG247, "The DayZ development team and Bohemia Interactive is not involved or has had any contact with with DayZ Bounty and it's [sic] creators."
That won't be the case for long. Bohemia doesn't approve of DayZ Bounty — the studio believes that the mod's gambling element "introduces challenges [to] the basic game design aspects that DayZ is built upon," according to the spokesman. "It changes the focus of DayZ from being a creative, enjoyable, gritty gaming experience to a game that is based almost solely on financial gain and that is not something we want to be associated with." Bohemia plans to contact the DayZ Bounty developers soon "to ask that they cease their activities in their current form," said the studio spokesman.
In the meantime, the company remains at work on the alpha version of the standalone DayZ game, which it hopes to release next month.