It's the announcement we've all been waiting for, and it comes as no surprise - Rocket has been talking about a standalone version of DayZ for quite a while. The new standalone version will continue to be spearheaded by Rocket but is now officially backed by Bohemia Interactive.
No word yet as to pricing, although Rocket says that he's fond of the Minecraft model - users pay for the development version of the game and then receive the full version it's deemed complete. The current ArmA II mod will continue to be supported while the standalone is developed.
Below is Rocket's announcement, entitled "The End of the Beginning".
That’s right, this is actually happening - DayZ will be developed as a standalone game, with me as project lead, by Bohemia Interactive. This is the fairy-tale outcome for a mod that many would have said impossible four months ago.
Development and updates of the mod will continue in parallel with the development of the game, so anyone who is playing the mod now will be able to continue to do so. The project will follow the Minecraft development model; fast iterations with the community alpha available for a heavily discounted price.
I realize people will have many, many questions - but we wanted to let everyone know the announcement now. Over the coming weeks, these questions will be answered. The game will have it’s own site, www.dayzgame.com and the mod will continue at it’s present link.
Read the official announcement here! We're expecting more details in the coming weeks, but if you're in the mood for some speculation, check out this forum thread!
Remember where DayZ was just four months ago?
It initially appeared that the announcement of the standalone version may have been accidental. Only moments after it was announced on Twitter (automatically via Tumblr), was the link taken down and the tweet deleted.
Edit: the post has since been re-published and tweeted, so I'll move this to the bottom. For future reference, here are screenshots of the original post and the original tweet.