We just reported yesterday that DayZ was currently peaking at 22,000 concurrent players during peak hours. To give you an idea of how fast and how big this mod is growing, that number has increased by half in just a matter of days.
Dean 'Rocket' Hall, the sole DayZ developer, announced on Twitter that the game peaked at 32,000 players over the weekend. While the mod - and ARMA II, by association - is experiencing such tremendous success, discussion has begun to surface over whether Bohemia Interactive will commission a standalone version of DayZ. Bohemia owns, develops and publishes the popular ARMA military franchise, upon whose framework DayZ was built. But as of yet, the studio doesn't seem interested in pushing very hard for a standalone project or providing Dean Hall with a proper staff and funding.
This isn't to say they haven't been supportive of Hall and DayZ, on the contrary, they seem to have been incredibly supportive of DayZ and the entire modding community. Bohemia has even gone so far as to reply to threads in the official DayZ forums, something they are certainly not required to do. But what is holding them back from giving DayZ that extra push that will turn it from a half-finished mod into a fully featured, standalone game?
At the moment, Dean Hall is discussing his options with Bohemia as well as other parties. Not only has he had discussions, he's had some pretty serious discussions from folks who have the funding and are willing to push it in his direction.
Ultimately, Hall would like to work with Bohemia on the project as it is much more convenient and makes more sense to work on DayZ as it is, rather than start all over with a new engine and new source if Bohemia's involvement doesn't pan out. Time is money, as Hall points out, and other studios are doubtless moving right now to cash in on the momentum that Hall has built.
If DayZ is going to be turned into a standalone game, the time has to come soon or the opportunity will inevitably pass.