The standalone version of apocalyptic survival mod DayZ is getting closer to public release, creator Dean "Rocket" Hall confirmed in an interview with Gamasutra.
"So what we're doing at the moment is, we gave free keys as a gift to the forum moderators, the Reddit moderators, people who helped out with DayZ development, and stuff like that," Hall said. "I guess there's about 30-100 people involved with that."
Systems such as Steam’s Early Access service allow players to buy in early while games are still in the developmental phase, rewarding those who invest early with discounted prices. It’s a model that the upcoming DayZ standalone will mirror.
“From here, once we've finished our server/client architecture--because we're moving it [to] an MMO model--we're reviewing the situation of that in June, and then we do an alpha, just like Minecraft. People pay X amount of dollars and they get early, cheap access to it, and then once it's beta, price goes up, maybe, say, $10, and once it goes retail, the price goes up $10.” Hall said.
DayZ was originally slated to launch before the end of 2012. Hall recently took a two month leave of absence to climb Mount Everest. Last month, the creator said that a console port of DayZ was "almost certain".