Dean Hall, the creator of DayZ, has said that he will be leaving Bohemia Interactive and stepping down as the leader of DayZ. He revealed to Eurogamer that he intends to step down by the end of the year, with development of the game being left in the hands of the current team. DayZ is currently in alpha and Hall has stated that the game should enter beta by the end of the year, meaning DayZ should be nearly completed by the time he walks away from the project that he created.
“I am a grenade,” he explained to Eurogamer. “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.
“That’s what I did with DayZ; I’ve done it twice now [once with the mod, again with the standalone] - two new code teams have separately done it.”
However Dean Hall doesn’t feel that he is the right person to lead DayZ heading into the future, believing that he will be a hindrance to the project in a leadership role.
“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.”
The plan for Dean Hall was never to be where he is now and stated that he originally wasn’t going to do this year. He had taken a break from the New Zealand Army which was originally planned to last just a few months but has instead found himself on a break for years, not months.
“And also, I never intended to be here. 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.”
However the future of DayZ isn’t all doom and gloom, with Hall making sure he leaves the project in the best possible shape and he says he won’t leave at a crucial time in development. He will stay on as long as possible to ensure it, there’s flexibility as to when he will step down. No date has been set in stone, stating, “I would extend my involvement here as long as Bohemia wanted - needed - me.”
Once the time comes when Dean Hall does leave Bohemia Interactive’s studio in Prague, he intends to head home to his native New Zealand. There he will set up his own studio as he chases that perfect multiplayer experience. He already has several ideas written already.
“A lot of them have similar DNA [to DayZ],” he said, especially as he is particularly interested in multiplayer and survival games.
“I feel like DayZ is a fundamentally flawed concept,” he went on, “and I’ve always recognised that. It’s not the perfect game; it’s not the multiplayer experience, and it never can be, [with] the absolute spark that I want in it.”
Is there any chance that Hall could change his mind and stick with DayZ, or is his mind already set?
“Oh, it’s set. Definitely,”