The standalone client for DayZ is finally in closed alpha, according to creator Dean Hall. Keys, he says, have been given out to their forum moderators, Reddit moderators (presumably those on the applicable subreddit), and others who have been helpful in the development of the project up to this point. He indicates that it’s between 30 and 100 people.
Following a review of the game’s new server/client architecture, a project slated to be tackled in June, and assuming they are satisfied with where it stands at that point, Bohemia Interactive will bring the game into open alpha, at which point it will be available for purchase by anyone and everyone. Much as with the recent ArmA III alpha, this will be available at a reduced price (compared to that of the final product), but will allow for access to all subsequent stages of release, through the beta and the final release. Those later releases will be more expensive.
In short, it’s the Minecraft method of pricing. If the past has been any indication, it’s a terrific way of building traction on what might otherwise be a fairly niche game.