DayZ, if you’re unaware, is a massively popular PC game that drops players into a gigantic, open-world environment populated by other, like-minded players and hordes of ravenous zombies. Players are free to do whatever they’d like in this space, for good or ill, and as a result of this freedom DayZ has become one of the most “realistic” depictions of the zombie apocalypse ever created. It’s not uncommon to find small groups of players forced to pool their resources and hope that strength in numbers applies to situations where the dead have returned to life, though it’s equally likely that you might be wandering through the woods only to have a group of bandits (all controlled by real people) swipe your stuff and leave your corpse lying in a pool of coagulated blood.
DayZ Bounty, if you’re unaware, is a new modification for DayZ that was officially unveiled only yesterday. PC Gamer has a great piece explaining the mod’s basics, but if you don’t have that kind of time the important thing to know about DayZ Bounty is that this modification is designed to reward players with real world cash for things they do in DayZ. It’s not all free money for killing corpses however; in order to fund this rewards system, every player that wishes to join the special DayZ Bounty server must first pay somewhere between $5 and $20 for a set number of “lives.” By killing zombies, survivors and bandits, players can recoup their initial cash outlay, and there’s even a special bonus for killing the human-controlled character with the most in-game kills.
Before you get too excited about all of this, know that there are two huge hurdles preventing you from quitting your lame day job and instead funding a lavish rockstar’s lifestyle purely through shooting virtual zombies. First, DayZ Bounty was designed specifically to ensure that it’s creators would never have to actually pay out cash to people themselves (unless they lost fair and square, anyway). Thus, while you might get lucky and pull down $100 from a large group of people every once in a while, you ought not expect to see games where players walk away $5,000 richer thanks to some developer-sponsored jackpot.
Second, and most crucially, DayZ developer Bohemia Interactive isn’t very pleased with the idea of this modification (despite the fact that DayZ itself started out as a modification for modern warfare simulation ArmA 2). Speaking to VG247, Bohemia expressed concern that this mod fundamentally changes DayZ into something the company doesn’t necessarily want to be associated with. Given the insane number of rules and regulations that must be followed in any gambling enterprise (and, let’s be honest, that’s what DayZ Bounty is) we don’t blame them.
“We believe that the elements of gambling that DayZ Bounty introduces challenges the basic game design aspects that DayZ is built upon,” Bohemia states. “It changes the focus of DayZ from being a creative, enjoyable, gritty gaming experience to a game that is based almost solely on financial gain and that is not something we want to be associated with.”
“We will be contacting the owners of the DayZ Bounty website directly over the coming days, to ask that they cease their activities in their current form.”
So, odds are pretty solid that DayZ Bounty won’t be around for much longer, at least not in its current form. If you’d like to get in on the action before Bohemia tells them to shutter the whole thing, a quick trip to the mod’s website should have you up and running shortly.