DayZ’s Dean Hall to Leave Bohemia, Start Own Studio

Standalone DayZ is still in alpha, but creator Dean Hall is already planning his next move: a start-up studio in his home country of New Zealand.

Hall broke the news to Eurogamer, stating that while he plans to stay with DayZ developer Bohemia Interactive as long as they need him, he never intended to be with the studio this long.

“Originally I wasn’t going to do this year, but it would be stupid not to, and it would be unfair to the community,” Hall said. “I have to be on the project as long as it’s important to. 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.”

Hall said he’s leaving Bohemia because he’s driven to create and take risks on new ideas, a personality type that can be bad for a team working on an already established product. “I am a grenade,” is the descriptor Hall gave Eurogamer.

Through representatives Hall has already started the initial process of getting a studio started in New Zealand, and he said he has three new game concepts written and two good ideas percolating. The goal: create the perfect multiplayer experience.

Quite the bombshell for Hall to drop given that DayZ is still in such an early state. But it’s the logical next step for a young game designer who is two for two: the original DayZ mod helped sell more than 1 million copies of Arma 2 and early access DayZ has already sold more than 1.5 million.

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4 Comments on DayZ’s Dean Hall to Leave Bohemia, Start Own Studio


On February 24, 2014 at 7:36 am

I don’t play any of the “Z” games, but who the f*** leaves there studio just make another when there game isn’t anywhere near completion? Sounds to me someone just wants to ‘create’ a game and then move on when it’s time for the play-testing, refining, and bug testing/fixing begins.

Really unprofessional in my eyes. Finish what you start.


On February 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

@Jay: I disagree. I think what he’s really saying here is that he’s getting to the point that he’s going to wind up being a consultant on DayZ rather than a direct developer. There’s probably some sort of “creative differences” kind of turmoil going on, also. We also need to consider the fact that the Arma franchise is Bohemia’s flagship franchise, and development on other projects is going to take a back seat to it. Notice, DayZ standalone was supposed to be fully completed by this point. What has actually happened? Arma III has been released (broken up into chapters, I might add). In other words, Bohemia is working on two incomplete projects simultaneously. This really goes back to arguments others have mentioned in other articles with regards to Early Access games and how they’re often incomplete during release, leading to purchases for products that may never be fully delivered. Bottom line, Hall is trying to work his way out of a company that isn’t managing the DayZ standalone project in the manner he thinks it should be handled. Rather than cause the “Hall sues Bohemia for control of DayZ” scandal, he’s opted to bow out and move on.


On February 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

That’s a better way to look at it, but it smells a bit too much of “read between the lines”. Could all be true though. Either way good luck to him.


On February 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

You’re right, though. It does seem like I’m reading between the lines a little bit. I could actually be wrong, but, either way, we’re only going to know for sure as things develop.