DayZ Creative Director Departs Bohemia Interactive
When DayZ creator Dean Hall left Bohemia Interactive in 2014 to form his own studio, Lead Producer Brian Hicks filled his shoes in more way than one on the multiplayer zombie survival title.
Heading up the design and direction of the game, as well as becoming one of the more prominent faces behind the team, Brian Hicks led the game to its current state as Creative Director. With the imminent release of DayZ version 0.63 (beta), the implementation of the game’s major re-work since the team shifted development from the ARMA 2 Engine, Brian Hicks has announced that he’s leaving the company to return home to the United States.
In the developer’s latest status report, he wrote, “I feel DayZ has reached a point in which I, much like how Dean felt years back – am no longer needed. “He continued, “Now that you have started to see, and touch DayZ .63 I feel like our plans, our dreams are finally within grasp. Peter Nespešný and the design team have a rock-solid grasp of what DayZ is, and what it needs to be. All of our systems have been discussed, documented, and discussed again.
“DayZ has been my life, made my life – and been so ingrained in who and what I am that I won’t be able to just walk away. Hell, I’ve just crossed 7,000 hours between two accounts. From here, I look forward to opportunities back home in the States, being closer to family, and playing DayZ as much as I possibly can.”
Contrary to popular hyperbole, DayZ has indeed seen many updates to its core system with the change of engines. The game has been transplanted into the new Enfusion Engine, allowing for better performance, animations, mechanics, and expandability (which includes mods). Now, it’s completely fair to be critical of how long it’s taken for these changes to be made, and whether or not you’re still interested in what the DayZ experience has to offer after so many years since its peak popularity. Hick’s departure shouldn’t be seen as a sign of doom and gloom; his role, which was to establish the feature-set of the game, is complete. Now Bohemia will have to focus on polish for the game’s full release planned later this year.
I put several hundred hours into DayZ some years ago and have been patiently waiting for the beta. Within the last few weeks, Bohemia has stress tested the first iteration of the beta with fans, which is available through Steam for scheduled online and offline testing. Once DayZ is officially available, will the wait have been worth it? Time will tell.