DayZ Creator Dean Hall Leaves Bohemia

Dean Hall to leave Bohemia Interactive and start another project.

DayZ creator Dean Hall, has decided to leave Bohemia Interactive. Despite incredible sales, the creator has other plans for the future. In an exclusive interview with Eurogamer, Hall discloses his intentions with DayZ and where he's looking to make a home for himself.

Dean Hall created a mod called DayZ. This idea eventually turned into a full fledge survival-horror MMO. Bohemia is the studio that took on the task of fleshing out the idea along-side Dean Hall.

On December 16, 2013, DayZ - in its alpha stage - debuted on Steam Early Access. After the first 24 hours, selling 172,500 units, they earned $5 million. During peak sales, over 200 copies were purchased per minute. After one week over 400,000 copies got sold.

Though it may sound surprising someone would want to leave a project that's doing so well, Dean has this to say about himself:

"I am a grenade... I have a specific use. I'm really good at risk-taking and making other people take risks, I've always been good at that in my life. Like you say, maybe I've got the gift of the gab, so I can talk, I can explain something, I can talk people up to the ledge and get them to jump off it... But eventually, that's the bad person to have. Eventually, you don't want the guy telling you to go over the top and get through. So at some point I'll be a disaster for the project, at least in a leadership role."

Mr. Hall goes on to explain he is not abandoning the project, but expects he'll be done with it by the end of this year.

"I would extend my involvement here as long as Bohemia wanted - needed - me... Originally I wasn't going to do this year, but it would be stupid not to, and it would be unfair to the community. I have to be on the project as long as it's important to. Whether that role is as the leader, whether that role is in a more creative sense... But at a certain point there will be diminishing returns"

After he feels his work's done, Dean has a few ideas for similar games to DayZ, and wants to spend some time figuring those things out. According to Eurogamer he has three games written already and "A lot of them have similar DNA [to DayZ]."

"I guess most people would have not said anything... but I want to avoid a Notch-like situation so that everybody knows that one day - publishers as well - I'm going to come knocking. But it's not going to be under traditional terms, it's going to be different."

So what do you think? Is this a good idea, would you leave? Does this affect your purchasing decision for the full retail price? Can someone focus their efforts when wanting to develop other games and after giving a 10 month notice?


Featured Correspondent

I'm a stay at home dad who writes about video games. I enjoy my family, video games, and music.

Published Feb. 24th 2014
  • Hobo With A Keyboard
    Featured Contributor
    I think this is what primarily concerncs people with the Early Access concept..He's made his money now- it almost appears as if he feels his job is done and he's going to jump ship. That concerns me. I hope as he says that he will still be around for the development process; but how many games do you hear of where the lead developer leaves before the games' release, and the game continues to be made!? Worrying stuff, especially for me considering I've already purchased the alpha :S .
  • Coatedpolecat
    Featured Correspondent
    I haven't played it, only seen it.

    But getting the money and bailing concerns me too. I know once I'm already looking forward to my next job, it's hard to concentrate on the one I'm at. That could be said for putting in a resignation... 10 months in advance.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    It's a weird leaving time in the gaming industry, first Mr Lavine (not sure if that's spelt correctly) now Rocket...weird. But as long as BI keep working on DayZ, it's fine.
  • Coatedpolecat
    Featured Correspondent
    the co-founders of Criterion left as well, the founder of EA - he's making a game to help kids control and understand their emotions - and other studios closing, Sony's downsizing their TV and PC division by a few thousand worldwide...

    I dunno if there's ever a 'good' time to leave.

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