DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall will leave developer Bohemia this year

Hall will start a new studio in New Zealand, and he's already working on some new ideas inspired by the hit survival title.

DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has said that he plans to step down as the head of the popular open-world survival game before the end of this year, and will start a new studio in New Zealand.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Hall called himself a grenade with a specific use. "I'm really good at risk-taking and making other people take risks," he said. "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."

"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."

"And also, I never intended to be here," continued Hall, who originally intended to spend a few months working at Bohemia as a break from the New Zealand army: he's now been at the developer for over two years. "It's kind of like cooking in someone else's kitchen: I don't want to be constantly telling Bohemia that this is how I do it and this is the way we do it," he said.

Hall said that his original plan was to leave Bohemia before 2014, but said that doing so would have been unfair to the community--the game has now been played by more than 1.5 million people. "I have to be on the project as long as it's important to," he said. "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."

"The thing is, if I'm involved in the project, I'll be fighting anybody on the project to make sure it's good, so for the rest of the year, I'm there. And I don't just sit around; it doesn't matter if I'm the cleaner or the leader or whatever, I will be making sure--I will be in Marek's [Spanel, CEO] office yelling at him. I'm notorious for it."

When Hall leaves, then, development of the popular survival title will pass to the rest of the team at Bohemia. For his new studio in New Zealand, Hall says that he's already cooking up some ideas--he has three ideas ready, and is working on two more.

Hall says the new ideas have "similar DNA" to DayZ, because he's fascinated in that type of game. "I feel like DayZ is a fundamentally flawed concept," he said, "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."

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51 comments
dfuknb
dfuknb

I just bought this 2 weeks ago and am highly disappointed about this news. Can he at lease make Zombies stop walking through walls and gates and leave the game in a Beta state. Get some better animations and fix the falling off the top of a ladder issue. Maybe some full controller support with custom controls.

Uiltetwr
Uiltetwr

Ohhh right New Zealand getting their first kind of reputable studio, I anticipate great work from Dean & co 

holtrocks
holtrocks

No problem with this he only needs to be there for the core design choices, not the beta stage were it's just making new towns guns items etc anyone can do that. I would rather have him be making his next game then doing mundane work on DayZ that wouldn't matter if a junior designer does it or if Gaben himself was doing it.

stealthyninja81
stealthyninja81

"...for the rest of the year, I'm there." Why does everyone think he's already packed his bags and ran?

hampton2003
hampton2003

sounds like irreconcilable differences between Dean and the CEO's vision of the direction dayz will have in the future. And the fact he is leaving and starting something similar should be a red flag for anyone who hasn't yet jumped on board to wait and see what radical changes are made. the dayz you love now may not be the dayz you love later.

chemicalegypt
chemicalegypt

Served quite right to all these gullible tards that pay for early access and support these diabolic business practise. 

camisado_gamez
camisado_gamez

Dean is not leaving RIGHT NOW. He has said he will at least stay at bohemia through the whole year. It's unfortunate this article doesn't mention that tho, which gets people all fired up.

Just go read his Twitter feed, he's really good about answering questions

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

LMAO. Here,pay for a early access to my half-finished turd while I leave with all the money.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

But...but...but Kevin Levine had to fire 100's of people to start a new group. How on Earth did this guy just leave and start his own small group. I could have sworn you have to ruin other people's lives in the process. -_- 

Omfgturtle
Omfgturtle

Just because he is leaving doesn't mean the game won't be finished.

shingui5
shingui5

And here is another fundamental risk of Early Access; people can bail on finishing the project. 

gww101
gww101

So he didn't even finish DayZ and he's already out of the door?

enriK233
enriK233

I have no idea where Dayz is going. The game is a just a mod for Arma 2 and it is clear tht they are having a lot of issues with dayz, they have to redo everything basically.. it just isn't designed for that.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"I can talk people up to the ledge and get them to jump off it" Well, with DayZ, you certainly can make people do much worse things than that, heh. 


If he feels like Bohemia has depleted its usefulness and that his particular talents are better served at a new studio, then he should do so. The popularity of these Online Bastard Simulators doesn't seem to go away anytime soon (or soon enough).

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

You need the original creators always involved in a project otherwise companys like gearbox gets a hold of it and does a Aliens colonial marines on it. I would of preferred if Ridley Scott was heavily involved in the Aliens Colonial marine game.


The game isnt going anywhere just he is.


The people bitching that hes money grubbed off of everyone, that may very well be, but theres no denying the huge influence dayz has had reviving the Survival genre again.

DrizztDark
DrizztDark

Wtf so I actually paided for this fycking game and now after he collects, he is leaving to work in something else.... Last early access game I will ever pay for... This game is no where near finished... Fuck this piece of shit who pretty much just ripped everyone off with dayz... Early access is truly bad for gaming, cause this is what happens when a dev makes all the money up front folks....

vimmaleuka
vimmaleuka

the way i see it, he cant leave before 1.0 and the game is early alpha? :/ gonna be a busy year

Ex1st3nz
Ex1st3nz

I think it shows quite a bit of critical thought to realise that your contributions may actually harm the product after a certain point. He clearly knows that he's an ideas guy. He's probably the one in team meetings constantly adding new things to the development list and that's great when the game is at the ground floor, but if they want to get this game to somewhat of a finished state the feature creep has to stop. If he doesn't believe that he can stop himself from adding new things constantly then he's doing what is best for the game with this move. 

mid--boss
mid--boss

Translation, "I made all kinds of money off of people dumb enough to buy an unfinished game, now I can go make another game I won't finish because they never learn."

19James89
19James89

I must get around to purchasing ARMA III.

deadpeasant
deadpeasant


I can't help feeling that there will be a lot of players feeling betrayed by this. The game is not finished yet and the creator is leaving. Maybe there's more to his leaving than this but a lot of people were waiting for this game to be finished and see the creators final vision which will now never happen I assume. Will the direction of the game change after this?

Mellowcow
Mellowcow

A loudmouth with no empathy, good day sir and good riddance.

Saidrex
Saidrex

Another drama queen developer

jonmar
jonmar

Seems like he's just sick of the horribly optimized engine Bohemia is using and he's realized that DayZ will always be limited and hampered by that engine so he's gonna abandon ship and go do something else. Even before the game he started is even finished. Don't really know what to think but this really has that "This game is a mess and it's too late to fix it so I'll abandon it" feel.

hystavito
hystavito

@hampton2003  I was a bit suspicious about it as well, specifically as you say because he plans to do something similar.

rehjul
rehjul

@chemicalegypt I'm glad it's already been pointed out to you how moronic you are. I hope you learned something.

ziproy
ziproy

@chemicalegypt  Just stop alright. This mentality you hold is just broken, there is nothing wrong with early access. If you don't want to help a developer out then DON'T DO IT like you weren't regardless

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@Sefrix Must have found a loophole. That devious, devious Dean.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

@enriK233  It's my understanding that it is no longer just a mod but it's own game now.

stealthyninja81
stealthyninja81

@DrizztDark first of all you deserve to have your money taken if you buy something that clearly says "Early Access" its not a secret. also why do you think he's literally leaving right now and that nobody will work on Dayz? He's not leaving until the end of the year and even after that it will still be worked on. Just because he's gone doesn't mean the game will remain in alpha perpetually.

MAD_AI
MAD_AI

@DrizztDark  

You do know that  there's an entire studio called Bohemia interactive working on the game and that his part is over right?

cowbellkid
cowbellkid

@DrizztDark  That is exactly what I was thinking. I hope I'm wrong and they finish the game completely.

rehjul
rehjul

@mid--boss Comments like yours are cute, seeing how insecure you are about yourself. :)

willnye88
willnye88

@mid--boss  It sounded to me like he is getting replaced and the studio gave him the chance to leave before he got canned. Carefully read what he says.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@mid--boss  i dont know, dayZ has almost single handedly revived the survival genre.

DrizztDark
DrizztDark

Pretty much man and I'm one of them... Was the first early access game I've bought and the last... Show what happens when a small dev makes all the money up first

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@19James89  arma is amazing with or without dayZ. just make sure you USE the editor, its so awesome and never gets enough coverage in reviews. you can literalyl make ANY game style you want with it, stealth, splinter cell, ghost recon, rainbow 6, an incredibly realistic battlefield game if you want, whatever you want really.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@deadpeasant He's leaving before the end of the year, which doesn't say much, but we have pretty much of 2014 left, so it's not like he is gonna abandon the game the next month. Of course, that's EXACTLY how people are interpreting this, that he's all "see ya suckers!" and will ride off with his truck full of money the very next day. This (deliberate?) misinterpretation makes me almost as mad as people seem to be about him leaving.

mickelham
mickelham

@ziproy @chemicalegypt  I'm haven't bought it for the early access. If anything I'm getting it now as it's cheap and I'll play it later on in the year. You know, when it can actually be classified as a game

DrizztDark
DrizztDark

Yeah I do but it jut makes me think when the lead dev just ups and leaves it while it's in this state... I bought the game too so that's my opinion on how I fill... That is a really stupid move to this mans name to leave so soon after makes all the money on it.. Come On man just think about it for a sec... And I hope I'm wrong and the game becomes complete

DrizztDark
DrizztDark

Yea man, me too since I own it lol... I have this filling there is gonna be just a little patch or 2 and they'll call it complete.. Hey maybe they will do a complete job, finish it but man it doesn't look good when they sale shit loads of copies and the creator dev a month later is like peace out... I'm gonna go make a different game now lol. Hope people remember this guy cause I know it will...

mid--boss
mid--boss

@willnye88 I don't disagree, but he said he never wanted to be there to start with. He knew this was a cash grab. The studio is just as bad as him.

mid--boss
mid--boss

Not sure how you concluded this or what it has to do with anything. You must be one of those Internet mind readers. @rehujl

monarchy16
monarchy16

@Hurvl @deadpeasant 

I can't see how him staying until the end of the year is any better than leaving right now.  You think he will give it his all to make the best DayZ game possible within the year? He probably has his mind checked out and thinking more about his upcoming Mount Everest expedition than Dayz.  And I'm willing to bet that any great ideas that Rocket have, he will save them for his next game when he opens up his New Zealand studio.  At least if he leaves right now, other people can get the ball rolling quicker and implement their visions of the game, which will eventually happen anyway. 

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

@Hurvl @deadpeasant  That's a fair way of looking at it. Well whatever the case it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@DrizztDarkThis little piece of text makes me believe you're exaggerating things: "I have to be on the project as long as it's important to". While his definition of "as long as it's important" isn't clear, it doesn't mean that he'll just leave the game development before the game is in a good state.

mid--boss
mid--boss

You mean a game they never stopped working on? They made tons of money on but didn't stop working on it when it was in alpha? Not sure how that has any relevance here. @deadpeasant