In 2012, the DayZ Mod was released – a modification that kicked off an entire genre.
The modification for the hardcore military simulator Arma 2 had actually been developed more as a kind of tech demo by the developer Dean Hall.
The player finds himself on the coast of Chernarus, a fictional post-Soviet state where the population was transformed into zombies by a virus.
You start unarmed and defenseless and face a hostile world.
The goal is to fight your way inland, find water, food and equipment and survive – against the forces of nature, zombies and other players.
Cities and villages can be plundered, vehicles and even helicopters can be repaired and used – and a camp with equipment for bad times can also be set up.
Especially the contact with other players is exciting and can be friendly or hostile – and sometimes there is the danger that the just friendly and needy stranger pulls a weapon and robs the player – or even kills him.
If your character dies, you will find yourself on the coast again – and start the cycle anew.
This game principle still serves as a model for most survival games today – and since then a wave of games has been launched that try to tie in with this game feeling.