The modding community has long been one of the best things about PC gaming. Although things have died down a little in recent years, there are still numerous success stories. Take zombie-infused survival game Day Z, for example. The mod for ArmA II has only been around since April, but it's already amassed a million players.
Despite the fact that the mod hasn't even hit beta yet, it's being turned into a standalone game. The announcement was made on the official Day Z Tumblr this morning. Bohemia Interactive, the studio behind the ArmA series, will handle development, with Day Z creator Dean Hall serving as the project lead. Here's what Hall had to say about the standalone release:
Development and updates of the mod will continue in parallel with the development of the game, so anyone who is playing the mod now will be able to continue to do so. The project will follow the Minecraft development model; fast iterations with the community alpha available for a heavily discounted price.
It's unclear whether folks playing the mod and standalone games will be able to slay zombies (and each other) on the same servers. However, at least those who bought ArmA II to live out their Walking Dead fantasies shouldn't be left behind. I'd expect the "heavily discounted price" of the standalone alpha to be cheaper than the cost of picking up ArmA II and the free mod.
Although details are scarce at the moment, Hall promises more information over the coming weeks. He calls the standalone project a fairy-tale outcome, and based on the Tumblr comments, Day Z players seem to agree. Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the tip.