The folks behind DayZ say they want to rebuild the game's whole engine before releasing a stand-alone version.
Writing in a blog post published this morning, DayZ creator Dean Hall says he's delayed a stand-alone release of the Arma 2 mod—which was originally slated to be turned into a stand-alone game by the end of 2012—in order to revamp the whole thing:
Put simply, DayZ Standalone isn't here because we had the chance to go from making a game that was just the mod improved slightly, packaged simply, and sold - to actually redeveloping the engine and making the game the way we all dreamed it could be. This blew any initial plans we had dictated to pieces.
The plan from here is straightforward. We will be releasing a closed test imminently, during which approximately 500-1000 people will assist in ensuring our architecture is correctly functioning. This closed test will be focused purely on architecture, not the game design. Once we have confirmed fixes for issues arising from the closed test, we will then reschedule an internal date for our public release.
Improvements in the stand-alone version of DayZ will include a new inventory and item scavenging system, a simpler interface, and new art, Hall writes. No ETA yet.