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Dean Hall reveals more about Ion, responds to accusations he abandoned DayZ (correction)

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Dean Hall, the creator of DayZ, appeared live on stage at the PC Gaming Show in an awkward, and at times strained interview with Sean "Day9" Plott. Hall answered questions about his newly announced game called Ion, but also responded to accusations that he abandoned his previous project while it was still unfinished.

Hall announced his departure from Bohemia Interactive, makers of the Arma series that DayZ is built on, in 2014 and founded his own studio shortly thereafter.

"I think that comes down to learning the lessons," Hall said. "When i first came up with Day Z it was an accident. It was a mod that I thought maybe 50 people would play, but a lot of people played it. And when I first looked at what to do, I realized that I didn’t have the resources. And so I sold it to Bohemia."

When asked to define Ion, Hall was cagey if not vague.

"It’s not Star Citizen, it’s not Elite, it’s not Eve," Hall said. The game, he said, would be more along the lines of a third-person, isometric game like Diablo. It would be based roughly on game concepts seen in indie title Space Station 13.

"We’re sketching together regions, and letting players have their own regions," Hall said. "It’s a 3D environment, but it’s not true isometric. There’s an offset camera."

But why is Hall being so vague here at E3, the largest consumer-facing industry show? He said he's afraid of attracting too much attention, and too many players, to the game before the core experience has been fully fleshed out. Hall said that the danger to developers of the early access model so popular right now is that if you’re game gets too popular you can "kind of lose your roadmap."

"It’s now about me proving that I have learned lessons," Hall said, "and that we deliver."

Correction: A previous version of this article misquoted Dean Hall as it related to banning users on Twitter. The quote in question has been removed.

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