No one questions that the zombie survival mod DayZ is popular. In fact, it’s so popular that unsavory McDonald’s addicts have already tried to take it down. But exactly just how big is it? Well thanks to a recent interview with Eurogamer at the Rezzed indie game expo, we now have a good idea. Spoiler: its popularity puts Snooki to shame.
According to its creator Dean Hall, current stats put the number of players at a staggering 420,000, only three months after its alpha landed back in April. And if you think those numbers are insane, they were at around 400k on Friday July 6, so that’s 20,000 new players in just 24 hours.
Hall talks numbers by stating that, “We’ve got 420,000 now. We’ll have 430,000 tomorrow.” He believes the game will probably hit half a million players sometime next week, eventually even outselling ArmA 2 itself. He goes on to give some stats on concurrent users.
“Currently we’re running 22,000 concurrent at full peak, and 10,000 off peak, which is pretty huge numbers considering the original data structure and system was designed to handle 100 concurrents, and two servers. We now have 1000 servers. We’re getting 110,000 players in a 24 hour period at the moment.”
Hall, a native of New Zealand, is actually a multiplayer designer for Bohemia Interactive and works officially on ArmA. He goes on to tell Eurogamer that the immense popularity of DayZ has forced him to change servers six times already. The previous five were destroyed due to overheating and apparently every major update brings them to their knees.
“We have trouble telling the difference between a DDoS and whether some YouTube channel has posted a video of the game,” Hall said. “It makes things pretty interesting.”
So what is there left to do with so much popularity? Interestingly, Hall wishes to see the mod turned into a standalone game, one that might follow a free-to-play model. With such high numbers, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
Finally, he confirms that a brand new feature will soon be implemented into the game: dogs. More precisely, German Shepherds. So start saving up those cans of beans, you’ll soon have two mouths to feed.