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Unturned is an free to play indie sandbox survival horror game developed by seventeen year old Nelson Sexton. It was greenlit on Steam and subsequently the amount of users playing at the same time surpassed that of Team Fortress 2 and Garry’s Mod. The game has been compared to Minecraft due to it’s sandbox elements and art style and DayZ due to it’s zombie survival element.
Unturned started out as a prototype on the sandbox MMO Roblox, the prototype had no survival elements or zombies and was similar to Pay Day 2. Roblox players suggested that the games developer, Nelson, added zombies and a survival aspect, Nelson listened to these suggestions and created Deadzone.
Deadzone was inspired by games such as DayZ and WarZ as well as Apocalypse Rising, another popular zombie survival game on Roblox. When Apocalypse Rising went offline, Deadzone was suddenly flooded with players and became one of the most played games on Roblox with over five million people plays. A sequel to the game; Deadzone 2 was in development and had features very similar to the finish product of Unturned.
While Deadzone 2 was in development, the original Deadzone was hacked and the game released to the public. Many users re-released Deadzone claiming that it was there own. Roblox attempted to delete these copies and in doing so also deleted the original Deadzone. The combination of Deadzone being deleted and the limitations of the Roblox engine led to Deadzone 2 being cancelled and Nelson moving on to create Unturned using the Unity game engine.
The Unturned that was released on Steam was actually the sequel to the original Unturned which started out as a downloadable game and was then remade into a browser game. Due to limitations with the structure of the original Unturned and the costs of hosting the Unturned downloads, he decided to create a sequel to Unturned which would be put on Steam Greenlight.
As soon as Unturned 2 was greenlit, it grew in popularity due to being one of the only free sandbox survival horror games on Steam. Soon, Pewdiepie played Unturned along with Cryaotic and CinnamonToastKen, the video received five million views and soon, many more people began uploading themselves playing Unturned 2.