Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The WarZ - controversial scam or innocent mistake?

*UPDATE*

Developments have been thick and fast today concerning the WarZ as steam have now removed the title from it's store page and are offering refunds to any player who bought the game through steam since it's launch on monday.

The link for the support tickets are located here for anyone wanting a refund https://support.steampowered.com/newticket.php 

Again this story is viewable on Eurogamer.net now for the rest of the details.  Suck it Sergey.
*Original Story*

Here is a game that was bound to create controversy the moment it was announced.  Sounding very similar to the hugely popular mod called DayZ, WarZ turned up earlier this year promising gameplay that was very similar but claimed to be better than it's free to play competitor.

Now I have never played either game but I can respect a mod teams work more due to the fact that these teams create this stuff for free and sometimes have to clear huge obstacles when it comes to modding certain PC titles that were simply never meant to be modded.  Battlefield 2 is a good early example of this until modders cracked the files and opened up a more user friendly tool set for modding.

ARMA II is a game meant for modders though and thus the DayZ team have created something of a dream game for zombie apocalypse fans out there.  Sure Left4dead gave us the thrills of battling the undead as a team of survivors, but DayZ is a sandbox zombie game where death is quick and surviving for more than a single day in game is seen as a major achievement.

The WarZ though seems from the outside at least to be something of a rushed production despite claims from Hammerpoint interactive that they have been developing this since 2010.  Early adopters from the steam version of the game are calling it a scam on a massive scale providing evidence of blatant lies from the steam store page.  Now it isn't exactly unusual to have a vocal minority on any game these days that throw terms such as scam, fraud and refund around, but WarZ seems to be one of those rare occasions where it may very well be true.


This image above (created by a member of reddit) highlights the issues players have with the WarZ.  Although recently Hammerpoint have changed their page due to massive amounts of negative posts on the steams gamehub page.

This image now shows the changes made since the uproar.  As you can see skill trees, experience gain and the claim of multiple maps have vanished.  A new upcoming features section has appeared instead.  Now this is a good thing, but I wonder how much money Hammerpoint raked in before admitting their mistake here.

Unfortunately the studios executive producer Sergey Titov has recently opened his mouth and probably created more controversy saying

"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."

Multiple interpretations of what was written on a store page.  It doesn't take much to read the first image above to see that nothing on there mentions certain features are upcoming and not in the game at all.  Developers responding like this always end up pissing off more players instead of calming them down.

 "So, if I'll be a DayZ fanboy, I'll be royally pissed off at The War Z. Especially since they won't be able to do anything about it, all they can do is spread lies and false information about game. They just love to omit obvious facts and bend words.”

Again these lies must be about something else because the original store page presents everything there as fact and not as a early access beta.  Titov brings up the term "foundation release" to suggest that the game is still in a stage where many things can change and features need to be added.  This would have helped had it been on the original page description but again it was absent.

“We also want to extend our apologies to all players who misread information about game features."

He also suggests here that players who bought it and felt ripped off simply didn't read the information.  Another tactful response would have been better instead of calling customers stupid for not reading the information properly.

The other thing that sort of annoys me here is how he thinks players should have researched the game more before purchasing.  Many gamers buy products based off of a box, written description, screenshots, videos and features.  Not every gamer goes into a full on research session carefully combing the forums, asking questions and reading previews.  Players buy on impulse especially for titles that fit their favourite genre.

So what I say to you Mr.Titov is this.  Your team made a mistake by posting inaccurate information about your product which ended up misleading customers into buying your product.  It is your responsibility to those customers to be open and truthful about what your product offers and be the first to admit a mistake.  It is not your right to call players "fanboys" or to say that people misinterpreted your game when all they have to go on is what is written on the store page.  Your attitude toward your customers and potential customers is arrogant and comes off as someone who frankly doesn't care what they think of you or your company.

now if you are a fan of WarZ and you enjoy the game for whatever reason you will already have forgiven Hammerpoint for this and everything will be great, but think a moment about those players who expected one thing and got something completely different.  In a recession like this money isn't something you can just casually throw away on any game, so this makes it worse for those people who feel misled.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-19-the-war-z-dev-apologises-to-gamers-who-misread-steam-page-hits-out-at-dayz-fanboys

Above is the link to the article in which Titov refers to angry customers as fanboys of DayZ and more.

Thank you for reading.  Post below if you agree or disagree with me




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