The stakes almost always feel high in the zombie-survival game DayZ. Your life can end at any moment, and from any of a huge number of causes, and if you die, you'll lose all your precious gear and have to start over.
But what if the stakes were raised, what if you were actually losing money every time you played? That's the idea behind DayZ Bounty, a mod for the game that would have players paying for a set number of lives and losing their money if they die in the game. But the people behind DayZ, which itself began as a mod of the PC wargame Arma II, aren't happy about Bounty, and they're calling on the creators to stop.
In this article with PC Gamer, DayZ Bounty founders Jake Stewart, James Ortiz and Andrew Defee talk at length about the impetus for their creation—basically, they started casually betting five bucks per life on DayZ games and enjoyed how much it raised the stakes. They insist that their plan isn't to make money, but rather to alter the way the game feels. From PC Gamer:
Despite all appearances, DayZ Bounty's creators say profit isn't their purpose. "We're not trying to make money. It's hard to explain that," says Jake Stewart, creative development lead on the project. Instead, Stewart and his colleagues James Ortiz and Andrew Defee see DayZ Bounty as a kind of club or community where members have a monetary stake in the game.
News of the mod didn't make the folks at Bohemia Interactive, where DayZ creator Dean Hall is currently working on a standalone version of the game, happy. Speaking in a subsequent email sent to PC Gamer, DayZ production assistant Matthew Lightfoot said that while they support their modding community, "to improve the gaming experience for players of DayZ and ArmA II, we do not support their creators putting a cost on them. As commercially exploiting their small additions to DayZ undermines the work done by the original team."
To Bohemia's eye, adding gambling detracts from the overall vision of DayZ. Quoth the Lightfoot: "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, a mod of a mod with a premise that's flawed. An interesting idea, perhaps, even if it's one that's gonna get cut short. But hey, you can always just gamble on the game with your friends anyway.
DayZ Bounty [Official Page]