The War Z (Beta) shadily makes its way to Steam (Update 2: Removed from Steam)
The War Z is a first person zombie themed MMO shooter from Hammerpoint Interactive. The game launched back in October. Available from the developer’s website with three payment methods which offered various amounts of in-game currency. It’s only in closed beta at the moment, with the developers promising ongoing updates … Though, they failed to make that clear with the recent Steam release.
War Z hit Steam on December 17th, with its store page promising many features that have not been implemented. Features such as leaderboards, private servers, and tools to help make servers unique. Hammerpoint partially corrected their misinformation by categorizing it under “upcoming features,” the day after release. For some reason, however, they chose to continue falsifying their current player capacity. Gamespy reached out to The War Z Executive Producer Sergey Titov about the listing omissions and user backlash. In the interview Gamespy worked to get behind the wonky information on the Steam page. Titov states that the servers’ capacity is in fluctuation, but did not understand why it was considered a false claim at the time.
The shaky Steam release is just the latest event in a line of questionable decisions surrounding this game. Just be sure to do your research if you plan on making a purchase…or wait for DayZ instead.
Update: Things seem to continue to get more interesting and damaging for Hammerpoint. In a report by Destructoid, it seems that amidst this Steam drama, Hammerpoint saw fit to add microtransactions to the game’s respawn process. Upon player death, which previously had a respawn time of an hour, Hammerpoint added a system where players can choose to pay roughly 40 cents to respawn at the normal rate or wait four hours to get back into the game. Ouch.
The games Terms of Service has also been updated to prevent users from requesting refunds as easily as before. And lastly (for now), it seems that Hammerpoint is also cutting down on upset threads and comments on their forums in an attempt to tone down backlash for their questionable behavior. Valve is said to be looking into this mess.
Update 2: The game has been removed from Steam and was called a “mistake” by Steam owner Valve. Those who purchased the game will be allowed to have a refund. In the mean time, Valve says that it is working with Hammerpoint to bring a new build to Steam that they’re confident in putting on their digital platform.