"We started thinking about doing a zombie game last year and began developing a quest-based MMO set in a large, zombie-infested world. Players would be able to explore and unlock new areas on the map as they progress through quests assigned to them in-game," explains executive producer Sergey Titov.
What about the DayZ connection? There really isn't one aside from coincidental timing. DayZ is a mod for an existing military sim title, whereas The War Z is a stand-alone MMO with a dedicated team behind it (and an upfront cost of $29.99). Is it really an MMO, though? That's in the eye of the beholder, we suppose, but it does have a huge open world, PvP, and the ability to support 250 players per server. The War Z also features dozens of skills and social niceties like bounties and in-game notes (no profanity, though; blowing off zombie heads should never result in inappropriate language).
If the War Z name sounds familiar, it might be because you're thinking of Paramount's World War Z property that we've talked about before. As with DayZ, though, the two projects are unrelated save for the similar names and the horror sub-genre.
The War Z is currently undergoing internal alpha testing, with a closed beta expected later this summer. IGN says the final game will be out "before the end of the year."