Creator of popular multiplayer zombie survival game Day Z, Dean “Rocket” Hall, addressed the popularity of similar games to Day Z such as Project Zomboid and Rust in a recent AMA held on Reddit. When asked to comment on other games within what could loosely be called the ‘open world zombie survival genre’, Hall stated:
“I don’t see Rust, PZ, as competitors. I also think DayZ has already “won” anything it needed too. Now we just need to make it a good game. It doesn’t need to sell any more units, it just needs to improve. Then that means we have a good reputation to make good future games.
I think DayZ needs to focus on authentic survival, camping, hunting, etc… and then it will be great”
In my opinion, this attitude is certainly a good thing for the game, as it means there should be no need to compromise aspects of the game in order to appeal to more customers. I also think that there should be no need for these games to be considered ‘competitors’ much, having played them I can say with some confidence that the kind of experience you get, at least from these three games specifically, is very different and unique to each title.
I can happily enjoy a bit of hijinks in DayZ with friends, then jump into Rust to do some long term building and society crafting with other people I’ve never met, and if the mood should take me I may spend a few hours scrounging for survival against the odds in the currently lonely and isolated feeling Project Zomboid. Depending on my mood I may play any of these games and I don’t see any of them as competing for my attention, as if I was in the mood for DayZ and din’t have it, I wouldn’t put on Rust.