DayZ” creative director Brian Hicks is leaving developer Bohemia Interactive, he announced in a status report on Tuesday.

“I feel ‘DayZ’ has reached a point in which I, much like how [‘DayZ’ creator Dean Hall] felt years back — am no longer needed,” he wrote in a farewell message to fans.

Hicks said he’d been slowly taking more and more of a back seat during development of “DayZ’s” .63 update. “Over that year I have made plans for what is next for me and worked for free with Peter Nespešný in a design consultant role,” he added.

“DayZ” is an open-world online survival game based on an “Arma 3” mod created by Hall. It’s now in early access alpha on Steam. The .63 update will bring a number of changes and will officially launch the game’s beta testing phase.

“I won’t lie — it hasn’t been easy, and there have been times where Peter and I both were uncertain about how .63 would be received, or how it would perform under full-scale load,” Hicks said. “I don’t want to be a broken record — but I am so happy that all of those concerns have been washed away.”

Hicks said he’s played 7,000 hours of “DayZ” between two accounts, which makes it hard to just walk away. But, he said he’s looking forward to opportunities back home in the U.S. and being closer to family.

“I have to thank Brian for his contribution to ‘DayZ’ over the years and wish him the best in his future endeavors. His passion is an inspiration to many. And I’m pretty sure we will be seeing each other in ‘DayZ’ all the time,” said lead producer Eugen Harton. “I know we both wish for the game to grow and improve and finally testing the 0.63 has been a step in the right direction although a lot of work remains to be done.”