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DayZ lead designer considered leaving the project

The War Z’s launch was a mess. It’s a catastrophe for the developer that damaged the game’s prospects for when it returns.

But this story involves another game, and its lead designer spoke out quickly about the combined effects of trying to finish his game while The War Z saga raged around him.

“I’ve been pretty depressed about the whole situation,” said DayZ designer Dean Hall in a post on Reddit. “From a personal standpoint, this whole ‘saga’ of the development made me seriously question if I wanted to be involved in the industry and I gave serious thought to cutting my losses and not being involved in the project.”

For those who don’t know, DayZ is a mod for the first-person shooter Arma II. It is an open-world survival game with zombies, just like The War Z. Many DayZ fans believe Hammerpoint saw the success of Hall’s mod and decided to do the exact same thing on their own. In its defense, Hammerpoint claims it started development on The War Z long before DayZ first came out.

So The War Z already had a bit of a reputation, one that is potentially unfounded, before it imploded on Steam this week.

On Tuesday, Hammerpoint released The War Z on Steam, and it immediately shot to the top of the sales charts. By Wednesday, with angry gamers shouting about the studio making inaccurate claims on the title’s Steam page, Valve had removed it from the store. Hammerpoint destroyed any goodwill fans had for The War Z.

So you’d think Dean Hall would be feeling pretty good. Yesterday, he did tweeted this:

But Hall is too busy dealing with the pressures of fan expectations to revel in the failings of competitors.

“I’ve been getting hammered by a massive amount of requests for information about DayZ’s release and interviews for my reaction to [The War Z]  – but for my own sanity, I retreated and have kept to myself,” wrote Hall. “Right now I’m just at home doing bits and pieces on the DayZ development. The rest of the DayZ team is doing the same.”

The designer noted that when he received his recent discharge from the New Zealand Army, the medical exam revealed that he now has high blood pressure.

“Some things in life just aren’t worth worrying about,” he wrote.

Hall usually updates the DayZ Tumblr blog about once a month with news. He told the fan community he would post one about the standalone games progress a few days ago, but that hasn’t happened.

“I realize that I went back on my word about releasing an update, but [I] went back into my shell for a bit last week, and I’ll come out when the dust is all settled.”

Unfortunately, The War Z riled up quite a lot of dust.


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