And so it begins. When the DayZ mod for Arma II released a year ago, it managed to help push Arma II into Steam's Top 10 list consistently for months on end. The mod also helped inculcate the community with a thirst for survival, pushing gamers to tell their friends about the mod, which eventually led to Arma II selling more than 300,000 copies and then eventually a million copies. Well, DayZ is no longer attached to Arma II and it's already showing signs of becoming a sales phenomenon once again.
The standalone version of DayZ has managed to top Steam's Top 10 chart two weeks in a row following an explosive first-day sales period, as noted on Blues News. The list shows that the game, currently available for $29.99, has shown no signs of slowing down, despite releasing in the middle of a big Steam holiday sales rush where hundreds of other games have been discounted to absurdly low prices.
Of course, two weeks may not seem like much, but consider that you can grab games like Payday 2, Skyrim, Max Payne 3 or Call of Duty: Ghosts (even though its a trash PC port) from anywhere as low as 25% off to 75% off. In the face of these massive discounts on well known, well established, highly marketable games, the standalone “alpher” of DayZ has managed to stay right there at the top of the charts.
In fact, it speaks volumes that the standalone of DayZ isn't even discounted by a single cent and it's still holding its place at a firm and steady pace.
What's also interesting is that despite not being discounted, Starbound is also sitting at the top of the charts – moving from second place and down to third-place following the Steam winter sale.
The amazing part about it is that – just like with DayZ – Starbound isn't discounted nor does it have any price cuts for the holiday sale. It really says something about the quality of the games and the cohesion of the community to these games when they manage to sell at such high rates with no marketing campaigns, no brand awareness outside of the niche communities, and no discounts. That's very impressive.
Both games are emergent titles classified in the “indie” category of gaming, meaning that they don't have a lot of big publisher oversight or development milestones dictated by budget and focus groups. They're independently designed from the AAA marketing machine.
Both games also focus players on surviving, exploring, and socially interacting in unique and unquantifiable ways. Each and every play-through and encounter can be a random, unpredictable event that can shape your gameplay experience in any number of ways. That's part of the appeal for both Starbound and DayZ.
You can pick up both games right now from the Steam Store if your fancy has been tickled enough, or you can wait until the next big sale rolls around to get either game at a discounted price. I'm only curious to see if either Starbound or DayZ will be able to top the Steam charts for many months on end?
Also, don't forget to check out Gaming Blend's Newbie Guide to DayZ before you head into the zombie-filled wasteland.