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DayZ reaches 1M in sales, 'shots fired' against traditional publishing model

Bohemia Interactive sold more than one million copies of DayZ within four weeks of its Early Access release, creator Dean Hall announced today, telling Polygon that the milestone is a "shots fired moment" against the traditional publishing model.

".... we're just blown away with the success of it," Hall told Polygon in an email today. "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 stemmed from a mod for Bohemia's Arma 2 which rolled out in 2012, with the standalone announced in August. Bohemia CEO Marek Spanel revealed in December that sales of the standalone, alpha version of DayZ exceeded 172,500 copies within its first 24 hours, totalling more than $5.17 million in launch-day sales.

"Previously with the mod I think traditional publishers could write DayZ off as a kind of anomaly," Hall wrote, pointing out that DayZ and Rust currently hold the top two positions on Steam, respectively. "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.

"The concept of Kickstarter and early access games is not without problems, though, and I think we've yet to see the full extent of that," he went on to say. "But what this says to me is that gamers crave real creativity in their games along with engagement in the process, and that the ‘indie' way is not just restricted to small projects in fringe games. It's big and serious business now."

Earlier this month developer Bohemia Interactive revealed that the standalone isn't expected to reach the beta stage of development before the end of 2014. Presently, the key focus for Hall and Bohemia is to stabilize the game's build and "start delivering our promise to the players." Hall said that he is thrilled at the prospect that 2014 holds for the development team, noting that "big growth and some big decisions" are in store for the year ahead, "but all of that means good things for DayZ."

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