The War Z ‘Apologise’ After Misleading Steam Customers

By John Walker on December 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

The ever-pondersome The War Z has managed yet another controversy, yesterday being forced to apologise to Steam users after advertising features the game simply doesn’t have. Or as Hammerpoint Interactive put it, what was “imagined” by those who “misread” the Steam page.

It seems that the description put on Steam was a touch… exaggerated, perhaps listing what the game is eventually planned to include, rather than what’s in there right now. And it didn’t even mention that the game is not yet beyond beta. Claiming to feature “areas between 100 to 400 square kilometers”, the game in fact currently only has one map, and it’s 72 square kilometers. It listed itself as having private servers, which it does not. And it sold itself as having skills to buy with experience points, despite the game having no skills at all.

An imaginary “hardcore mode” was listed, and it claimed the complete rubbish that 100 players could join a server when the limit is 50. So, well, a pack of lies? No, says executive producer Sergey Titov, it was in fact “presented in a way that could have allowed for multiple interpretations.” He continues,

“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 about game features.”

It could be a translation thing, of course, but I’m not sure that reading the words on the screen quite counts as “misreading”. I think he meant that they “miswrote”. Incredibly, Titov’s lack of contrition goes a lot further. Yesterday GameSpy spoke to the man about the incident, and amazingly he laid the blame with the customers once more. When GameSpy persist in pointing out that they had simply listed features as included when they weren’t, Titov replied,

“I’m sure there’ll be people who will look into small details and will say “no I was mislead,” where in fact they imagined something to themselves without checking details first.”

Buh. See if you can imagine the following to yourself too!

He then goes on to say that if people feel they’ve been misled, they can just apply to Steam for a refund. Oh, okay! Because that’s always a smooth and relaxing process. His dismissive attitude throughout the interview is astonishing.

So there it is. Hammerpoint seem determined to suggest that the fault remains with customers, despite their hollow apology. And if you read that GameSpy interview, you’ll see that Titov really cannot understand what is wrong with making misleading claims about the game. Which all rather suggests you may want to think carefully before handing over money. Thanks Eurogamer.

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247 Comments »

  1. LinogeFly says:

    Yeah, typical Russian approach, do not care about your customer…
    Not all Russian business is the same, but such way to do a business is quite common.

  2. Unaco says:

    It appears it has been withdrawn from sale on Steam… it’s no longer on the Top Seller lists, or any of the Front Page parts. There is still a Store page, but there’s now no price or option to “Add to Cart” etc.

  3. stupid_mcgee says:

    Misread or miswrote , my ass.

    Math, the universal language.

    “Up to 100 players” This can be translated to “<= 100 players" (less than or equal to 100 players.) This is perfectly reasonable assessment., as "up to 100" is the exact same thing as <=100.

    Sergey Titov claims that "if it says up to 100 players, would you really expect to be able to play with 99 other players?" Actually, yes, I would. Why? Because that's what "up to 100 players" means, that's what the translation of "supports <= 100 players" means. That's fine if they capped the Colorado map at 50, as per player feedback. That's why you say it currently supports up to 50 players, or you put up a few servers that do support 100 players.

    I've dealt with many people like this Sergey Titov fellow. He's a n obvious liar and a con. He made knowingly false statements and then tries to pass the blame onto others. Whenever he can, he throws up the "how could I know!? Stop persecuting me!" routine to try to win sympathy and/or understanding. When people call out his lies, he backpedals or tries to deflect it onto something else, but it's never his or his team's fault.

    At first, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they just messed up in translation. Now, I'm 100% sure it was no accident. Hammerpoint Interactive has used misdirection to try and pull a fast-one on customers, and then used bullying tactics to silent critics and legitimate complaints to continue to lure more customers. It's a classic business scam, actually.

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