One youtuber just stated there are less players playing DayZ standalone ( now just goes by dayz , but I still see a difference, hahaha ), than there are Dayz Mod players.
He seems to think , it's because devs did not specifically cater to the KOS , PvP crowd, as that's how he likes to play.
I think its many factors , and his was only one facet but touched on the real issue:
Devs do not listen to players.
Devs produce thier content, thier vision.
Dayz I keep saying has ran it's course as a "popular game" , and it's on it's last legs of "gaming life". The whole "survival genre" is a dying/dead game form. Over-saturation with "survival" , over saturation with bad clone games, over saturation with off-shoots and well ... too much "zombie games". It was bound to happen.
Like every game out there ... Modification is the only way to keep it going , past it's "prime".
The best games, are those you can customize to your liking , and they tend to keep some fans, some player bases.
Modding though, takes it out of Dev hands completely, and into player created content realm.
Look at GTA San Andreas ... it's OLD. It's got the worst graphics imaginable. Clunky 3rd person controls ... but because of mods and MTA ( multi-Theft- auto online modification) , it's probably more popular now than when it first came out new.
Age of Dayz compared to it just now breaching out of "alpha" , broken, glitchy/clunky , and lacking a whole host of features ... no, it's NEVER going to be high populated ever again.
Even after mods are able to be done:
1- The devs you know will keep it high priced, on steam. They will not release it to the public as open source , you know they won't, I know it.
2- it will never regain the same numbers or following ...
3- It will take fans that have knowledge/skill.patience to fix everything that ever been screwed up from start to finish , whom love the game ...
I'm convinced a huge portion of the decline , isn't because it's unfinished, or the bugs, or the glitches , or lacking content ...
It's because games like PubG and fortnight are the "in thing" now. It gives automatic thrill of PvP combat at the expense of others , in a package completely designed to do so.
Which Dayz , even back in the arma2 mod form ... was not what it was about 100%.
Players can help contribute to downfall as well. Look at PSiSin ... he's a mouthy, ADD infested retard , but has many followers on his vids. If he bad mouths anything , interest from players drops.
I just had an argument with a Standalone player, whom is Australian that wanted Devs to remove all the hunting, fishing, and stuff, forcing players to have to go loot in high populated areas so it's easier to KOS random players ... but he put it in a way, that seemed like his way was the only way to play , and unfortunately he's got a following that probably stopped playing Dayz , because he wasn't happy with how it got developed. Influence is a big deal in games and hobbies.
In some cases, modders can also contribute:
Like say for instance ... you want to play Dayz Aftermath mod for arma2 mod. Good luck, finding it.
While Aftermath wasn't anything "special" really, my point is ... when the devs lost interest, the servers went down ... it's lost.
Arma2 Stargate mod ... now, I admit I know next to nothing about "Stargate" except for the original movie. You can find a few videos on the mod, but no working downloads or any material on the mod anymore.
Then like the "Dusty roads" Western Mod for Arma3 ... that mod dev is one that is greedy, and stingy with his mod. So, what could be cool way to play, complete wild west conversion tool ... well, you will be stuck with how he put a server together, how his vision went , and when arma3 gets abandoned for Arma4 , that mod will vanish just like aftermath and Stargate mods for Arma2 ...
How much "better" would dayz have been , if it had Single Player the whole time? Every version? But noo ... only because Kronky made it so , do we have DaiZy mods here now.
Epoch ... also. Epoch modders are players, but they will not help for Single player. Why? because they don't play single player , they don't see a point to it. They still want to force people to play how they play ... which is all multiplayer ...
See how it all contributes , adds together to equal absolute fail points?