Bohemia Interactive is experimenting with a new monetization method for DayZ, where players can run their own monetized private servers. Of course, there's a catch: Your server has to be approved by Bohemia and if you attempt to make the server a pay-to-win server they can shut it down and even enact legal actions against you.
Eurogamer did a write-up on the new monetization method for DayZ, which allows users to seek approval from Bohemia to monetize their servers. Players can charge for in-game advertising and in-game items, but there are limitations to the process.
According to the FAQ page it's totally possible to take donations for running a server but if you exchange any in-game goods for running the server then it becomes a sale. The FAQ page states...
Donation is a voluntary gift without any counter-value. You do not offer any perks or rewards for such donations and players do not expect anything back. This is allowed and does not require our approval.
It's a fine line between balancing on selling goods that increase a player's enjoyment of the game without turning the server into a pay-to-win scheme.
If this sounds like something that could potentially break the DayZ community, keep in mind that Bohemia Interactive has already utilized this method for Arma 3. According to the Eurogamer article Arma 3 has been utilizing this kind of monetization of private servers since February 1st of 2015.
Bohemia has an expiration date on the server monetization option, as the monetization will run out for Arma 3 on in January of 2016 next month. The expiration for the monetized DayZ servers goes out on May 31st, 2016.
The game has been selling like crazy since its original entry onto Steam's Early Access back in 2013, where it managed to sell more than a million copies within weeks, and has sold more than 3.2 million copies over the past two years while still being in Early Access.
The news about the monetization of servers hasn't been the most praised thing, mostly given that DayZ is still fairly broken for a lot of players even though they have made a lot of advancements to the Enfusion engine and upgraded many aspects of the way the game and the engine perform. Many of the upgrades over the past year have been changes to the backend as they hope to finally get the game running in proper order.
DayZ was supposed to arrive on the Xbox One and PS4 with a beta due sometime in mid 2016, but the developmental progress on the game has been extremely slow.