DayZ 2 revealed by the US Federal Trade Commission

Two survivors hold a person hostage at gunpoint.
(Image credit: Bohemia Interactive)

Senior Microsoft staff along with various games industry stakeholders have been taking to the stand this week as the US Federal Trade Commission attempts to block the proposed $65 billion dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard. So far we've seen Bethesda wondering why Microsoft's so happy for CoD to remain on PlayStation while Starfield remains Xbox and PC exclusive, along with the news that Phil Spencer considered buying Srga in 202 to be "most attractive" and asked the top brass permission to do so.

As part of the discovery process a whole tranche of internal emails and documents have been made, among which is a Microsoft summary card concerning Bohemia Interactive: the developer behind ArmA, DayZ, and Vigor. The document gives a potted history of the studio, explaining its major properties and strategy, during which it notes DayZ remains "one of the most played PC console games to this day", citing a peak concurrent user count for the 30 days before the submission of just under 35,000 players, and a total of just under 19 million console hours logged.

Then it goes on to just straight-up confirm that, yep, DayZ 2 is in development. Under additional information the document says straightforwardly that "Dev working on ArmA Reforged, ArmA 4, and DayZ 2."

We've known about the first two for a while, and Reforged is currently in early access. No projected release window is given nor any clue about how far along in development the project is, but given that Bohemia's newest titles are being made with its new Enfusion engine, it seems a cert that this will be the case here. Various player stats listed by Microsoft also make it clear that DayZ is by far the studio's most popular game, so the news is perhaps unsurprising. 

The bigger question will be where Bohemia thinks DayZ 2's design should go, because it's arguably a foundational title for what would become the battle royale genre, which has subsequently taken on a life of its own. I adore DayZ, but it is a slow-paced and tense experience, and it always felt like PUBG's genius was distilling this into 20 minute bursts. The various competition since has also emphasised ease of accessibility, match time, and oft-spectacular traversal mechanics. Nevertheless DayZ as-is remains hugely popular, so perhaps a straightforward but shinier sequel is the way to go.

One other interesting note from this document is that Bohemia "finds difficulty accepting PC Game Pass" even though it's happy with DayZ's performance on console. Which makes sense for such a PC-centric developer, and is yet another hint of wider unease among studios over where exactly Microsoft's going with this thing. As for DayZ 2, don't expect to hear much more until Bohemia's got ArmA 4 out of the door, which could be years away.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."