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We thought when this news arrived it would be sitting alongside ‘Pigs can fly’ and ‘Ubisoft abandons DLC’, but sure enough, DayZ is moving to a beta version soon with its upcoming 0.63 patch. It’s only taken four years.

Before we get a little ahead ourselves though, this means DayZ will still be in Early Access. However, it should now be feature complete. It now just becomes a case of bug fixing, optimization and other behind-the-scenes goodness which should lead us to an eventual final version.

“The 0.62 patch was originally planned for delivery on the Experimental branch during the second week of April,” writes lead producer Eugen Harton in a blog post. “But due to complications and cooperation on engine milestones, it became apparent that we needed to close [the 0.62 and beta updates] sequentially, rather than working on both at once. Remember that only small team is working on 0.62 at the moment, as almost all of us are focusing on BETA/0.63 delivery.”

Going into the beta, Bohemia Interactive will be improving terrain handling with vehicles, reworking the UI, adding vehicle damage feedback, and improving vehicle destruction.

At this stage, DayZ finds itself playing some serious catch-up. It may have amassed more than 3.65 million owners since its launch, but it’s suffered from a falling player count, while recent Steam reviews peg it as ‘Mostly Negative’. Chalk it up next to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is just a month old and has already amassed more than two million sales, and things don’t look great. PlayerUnknown has also said he expects the final version of Battlegrounds to be completed within just five months, and console ports are expected to follow shortly after.

Will DayZ have enough to bounce back and make it a hot topic once more? Or has too much changed since 2013 for it to stand tall in a highly competitive survival market?