In “I don’t blame you a damn bit” news today, DayZ designer Dean Hall has been commenting on Reddit about the recent WarZ fiasco, and he’s not hiding his true feelings about how WarZ positioned itself to parallel what he was creating, fed off of the DayZ buzz, and then proceeded to ruin the reputation of both games with false promises and a bad game. He isn’t angry so much about the poor quality of the game itself, but more about how WarZ forced itself into the market with a game and name that created confusion, even among his own family.
“I am angry about the WarZ. I’m very angry,” Hall wrote. ”I’m quite hurt personally because anyone can see how similar the words are, and while the average gamer knows the difference individual people don’t. I’ve had family members/close friends mistake the difference and confront me about what they believed was unethical behavior they thought I was making. I really don’t think anyone can understand just quite how exasperated that can make you feel when you’ve gambled everything on something, put your whole self and reputation on the line. So it hasn’t made my life very pleasant and I disagree entirely with the conduct and how consumers have been treated.”
The two games were so similar in style and name in fact that Hall has received negativity from a whole lot of people who do not know the difference between the two games. What began as a marketing ploy for WarZ has become a backlash of anger for DayZ. Even in a conversation a few weeks back in Gamebreaker chat during the height of the WarZ debacle, someone mentioned something about DayZ and I immediately asked why that game wouldn’t just die already, not realizing for a second that the conversation was about DayZ and not the troubled WarZ. It can all get a tad bit confusing, even for those of us who write about this kind of stuff. You often hear that competition is good for the consumer, and Hall addressed this as well.
“I’m just going to come right out and say it, so that people start to stop with this whole “competition is good” thing. Competition can be good, under the right circumstances. Personally, the WarZ scandal and the price people have been paying has made me think, personally, that we’ve been undervaluing the project in terms of price.”
“If one company releases a product, that doesn’t perform well and is at a high price, and succeeds – what example does that set for other companies? People need to behave like rational consumers and not just instantly buy everything they see – otherwise all they will end up with is crap. The moment gamers start organizing and rewarding developers that meet what the consumers want – is the moment the publishers will be forced to value their developers more (and pay them more).”
DayZ is a stand alone mod for Arma II, and as such there’s not a giant machine cranking out the game. Dean Hall is not hidden away behind PR reps and community management teams, therefore we get a good feel for how he really feels about the entire situation.
“In terms of being a professional, no, I don’t think I am. My aim is certainly not to be a professional. I think I am being a creative person, and I’m being a public person. I am successful because the public got behind me, therefore I think the public has a right to know what I think so they can make their mind up about me.”
“I also think there is something immoral about not standing up for what you honestly think. I think I’ve been pretty guarded about what I’ve said, I have said far less than any single major review site has said and nobody is calling them unprofessional. Nobody is calling steam unprofessional for removing the game.”
And finally we get to the best quote of the entire thread. Words from a game developer who seems to really love the game, not the fame and fortune.
“I think a good developer should be a person not a professional. Because games are personal. I care more about being a good person and if that conflicts with some abstract sense of professionalism then to hell with professionalism. I made DayZ for the game I want to play, not because I wanted a career in it.”