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The original DayZ release was a modded version of Arma II, and although it had intense potential, it was ultimately labeled as an experience full of hacking, bugs, and glitching. Developers blamed a lot of these issues on the fact that the title was a mod of an existing game, and that the Arma II code did not allow them the true freedom to develop DayZ into what they'd originally envisioned.
This led to the creation of the DayZ standalone project, and we are now learning that just weeks after the release of the newest title, it has managed to sell over 730,000 copies.
The DayZ standalone is still incomplete, and is currently in an "alpha" stage, but that hasn't stopped gamers from purchasing early access to the post-apocalyptic showdown via Steam. The alpha saw 400,000 units sold in just the first week of its release, with 172,500 of those coming in the first 24 hours of going live. What makes this feat even more impressive is the fact that the DayZ standalone managed to steal and hold the top-spot for sales throughout the recent 2013 Steam Holiday event. It has sat comfortably in the pole position for two-weeks in a row, and even managed to attract more attention than some of the biggest sales of the season.
We saw gamers paying full price ($30) for an alpha-staged game, amidst huge price slashing on titles like Tomb Raider (Reg $49.99, discounted to $9.99) and Bioshock Infinite (Reg $39.99, discounted to $9.99).
But what makes DayZ such a must have title? According to its developers, it's due to the "unpredictability" of the game. It isn't like other end-of-days scenarios where you band together with friends and slash your way through hordes of zombies. DayZ is a truly terrifying experience that will test your survivability and moral compass. Not only will you be hunted by the undead, but other players may decide to steal your food or belongings, and you can become subject to things like illness and starvation.
You can grab the alpha version of the DayZ standalone right now on Steam.