The former creative director of DayZ's standalone version has joined RocketWerkz, the studio of DayZ creator Dean Hall, to work on a new survival game. Brian Hicks split from Bohemia Interactive and DayZ in 2018, and now he's with Dean "Rocket" Hall, who bailed on Bohemia and DayZ in 2014. All Hall says to describe RocketWerkz's technically-unannounced survival game is that it is "massive". Hang on, you know what else is massive? Jungle. That can only be a huge hint at a tropical setting.
"Super excited to announce today is the FIRST DAY that I am back working with the amazing [Brian Hicks]," Dean Hall announced on Twitter overnight.
"He has joined [RocketWerkz] as our Executive Producer on our massive (unannounced) survival game. We are about to start a play test! Incredible to be back working with you again!"
RocketWerkz is the studio Hall founded after leaving Bohemia. So far they've released early access space station sim Stationeers, VR game Out Of Ammo, and a sequel for that. They had been working on a mega-ambitious space sim, but ended up cancelling Ion. More recently they announced an open-world neo-noir game, named Living Dark, which had been due to launch in 2019 but obviously didn't. Now, hey, another survival game.
That screenshot up there ↑ is DayZ, not this new game, obvs. Everything about the new game is a mystery. Is the new survive 'em up about zombies? Dunno! Multiplayer? Yeah, sounds like it! Serious? Probably! Early access? I'd be astonished if it weren't! Can a survival game recapture that initial excitement without doing something quite different? Hmm!
DayZ is a sad story. It had such energy and such excitement as a mod, which ground to a halt when Bohemia restarted it as a standalone game in early access. The pace dropped off as they worked to different standards, problems started to feel grinding in the different context, expectations rose, a whole lot of the early excitement was lost as the game became a known quantity, and ah it wasn't the same. But we still have all those early daft and deadly stories.