December 19th, 2012 | By Alex Wilkinson
UPDATE: The WarZ Has been removed from Steam via Valve. Valve agreed to pull the game and offer any disgruntled customers a full refund on the back of all the claims and issues surrounding the game. Hopefully this will lead to future regulation of games prior to their release on Steam, but only time will tell. In an interesting side note it was interesting to find a post about Valve’s removal of the game from Steam was removed from the official WarZ forums(original link: http://forums.thewarz.com/showthread.php?79914-The-War-Z-removed-from-Steam has been removed) See Valve’s official statement below:
Valve: From time to time a mistake can be made and one was made by prematurely issuing a copy of War Z for sale via Steam. We apologize for this and have temporary removed the sale offering of the title until we have time to work with the developer and have confidence in a new build. Those who purchased the game and wish to continue playing it via Steam may do so. Those who purchased the title via Steam and are unhappy with what they received may seek a refund by creating a ticket at our support site here: https://support.steampowered.com/newticket.php
When I first heard about The WarZ (WarZ) A few months back it really did sound like all my Christmases had come at once. Hammerpoint Interactive promised the world and from a lot of their claims they did make it sound a hugely ambitious experience, and one that has tapped into the zombie culture of late.
Over its time WarZ has already been subjected to more controversy than your average celebrity couple. Ranging from claims they had just cloned DayZ to the developers flat out refusing any refunds – and some conjecturer that the developers even threatened blacklisting people with various credit organizations.
It’s fair to say people may have been overly harsh to the game whilst it was openly still in early beta stages. However WarZ released on Steam just a few days ago, and this seems to of only fanned the flames ever higher.
WarZ was released onto Steam with a very questionable description of the game in its current state. It highlighted many features that where not in current build, yes, this is essentially still a beta release. The Steam page has no mention of the game remaining in alpha or beta, this is quite misleading and is no doubt part of the reason WarZ on Steam has generated such high sales, in promising what it cannot yet deliver.
Since the release at the beginning of the week Hammerpoint Interactive have altered their Steam description, but failed to mention the games unfinished state. It is easy to look at this and say Hammerpoint made a mistake, an honest one. This would be an easier pill to swallow if the controversy didn’t extend even deeper.
Just yesterday Gamespy published an interview with Sergey Titov the executive producer of the game. It really is an eye opening interview and follows Titov skating around the problems and false claims they have so far claimed.
The interview led to a very interesting post on the WarZ forums from the developers stating “At the same time it was clear that there were a number of customers that felt that information about the game was presented in a way that could have allowed for multiple interpretations.” the full post can be found here.
Through all of this media blitz Hammerpoint Interactive have not come across very well and provided a strongly negative public impression. They have failed to take responsibly for the problems around the game and I think that is what is most disappointing.
Everyone should know when to cut their loses and I feel the time for Hammerpoint Interactive to hold their hands up and admit to making a right screw up of this has now passed.
It has been an interesting story so far and expect this saga to continue well into the new year as they promise to developer the game further, and we will see if all these promises come to light. Hopefully we will start to see more of the features actually begin to be introduced, and a good game may yet be produced on the back of this.
For anyone considering buying The WarZ I would strongly urge you to consider waiting until the game has undergone more development, as in its current state it is rather disappointing.
Read more on the PR nightmare on Eurogamer.