The War Z launch hit with player complaints, pulled from Steam

By Steve Watts, Dec 19, 2012 12:30pm PST

The launch of zombie survival game The War Z has created a stir online. The original "Foundation Release" listing on Steam outlined features, but didn't detail which ones were currently implemented and which are planned for future updates. This has led developer Hammerpoint Interactive to alter the description and issue a (sort of) apology.

PC Gamer reports that the original listing mentioned multiple worlds between 100 and 400 square kilometers, private servers, and the ability to spend experience points on new skills. None of those features were in the game, however, and the Steam page has been altered. The new listing details its one current map (100 square kilometers), specifies private servers as an upcoming feature, and removes the experience points bit altogether.

Executive producer Sergey Titov took to the game's forum, but his apology left a bit to be desired. It seemed to place the onus on "multiple interpretations" and players who "misread" the details.

"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," he said. "We've taken steps to correct this and format information presented on our Steam Store page in a way so it provides more clear information about game features that are present in the Foundation Release and what to expect in the coming weeks. We also want to extend our apologies to all players who misread infromation [sic] about game features."

But players still have some notable complaints. The game quietly added microtransactions to respawn, and some of the info in the official description is still under dispute. Namely, it lacks 100 player servers, and parts of the only current map are greyed out to actually cover about 70 kilometers instead. Titov's responses, in an interview with GameSpy, haven't tempered the anger. "Okay my point is - online games are [a] living breathing GAME SERVICE. This is not a boxed product that you buy one time. It’s evolving product that will have more and more features and content coming it. This is what The War Z is."

Or at least, it was evolving. Kotaku reports that the game has been pulled from Steam. The listing is still on the service, but users can't actually purchase it. "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 purchase 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," a rep told the site.

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