Zombie: The War Z No Longer Available On Steam

By John Walker on December 19th, 2012 at 6:38 pm.

Crikey – Kotaku have just reported that The War Z has just been removed from Steam. There was word earlier today that Valve were looking into forum moderation issues regarding the game, but people were hopeful they’d dig somewhat deeper into the real issues that had been raised, regarding the apparent false advertising of features on its store page. Those have been changed since, but for whatever reason the game is now not available to purchase. It is listed instead as “Uninitialized”. If you already own it, however, your Steam copy will still run.

We’ve just received a statement from Valve about the game, explaining that it’s been removed because they consider it was issued prematurely, and they’re offering refunds to unhappy customers. You can read the statement below.

Valve’s Doug Lombardi responds to our asking why the game is no longer on sale saying,

“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 here.

Again, we apologize any inconvenience.”

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196 Comments »

  1. JoeFX69 says:

    Haha, just as I email you John you post this

  2. Sakkura says:

    I guess that’s a kind of reaction from Valve.

  3. Luringen says:

    A bit too late, considering it was a top seller for a while… VALVe need to stop scams like this game before they are released.

    • Jeremy says:

      They’re giving people their money back, how is that too late?

      • Wreckdum says:

        Also considering top sale on Steam right now means jack and shit… Steam hasn’t had a real new release since December 4th with Far Cry 3. They could have released Solitaire Deluxe edition and it would have hit the top seller this week.

        Considering The War Z has only ever had around 5,000 people online playing at once… o0o0o0o0o they are blowing up! lol

        EDIT: But I am glad to see there is justice on Steam. I was really paying attention to how they handled this because I have been starting to grow fond of Steam’s business practices over the past year or two. Hoping they weren’t returning to the cold ways of the past.

        • JD Ogre says:

          “They could have released Solitaire Deluxe edition and it would have hit the top seller this week.”

          Rather wish someone would. I definitely need a decently-made modern pack of solitaires. Infinite Patience and PySol are both getting rather long in the tooth, being from the 90s and all. :P

          • Tetracell says:

            Have you tried Solsuite? My mother plays a hell of a lot of that. It looks pretty nice and has more variants than I could ever bother to count.

          • JoeyJungle says:

            I hear that Fairie Solitaire (I think that’s the spelling they go by) is pretty good. It’s usually ridiculously cheap during steam sales, so you might want to keep an eye on it when that starts up.

          • dkibafhy says:

            War Z was missing advertised features, the store is also responsible.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6v8S6EGDB0

          • Atrocious says:

            Damn, I fell for this spam!

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Always check the link, not what the link says

      • socrate says:

        Its actually proved that almost no one return their product or ask for a refund even if they are unhappy with their purchase.

    • President Weasel says:

      I am genuinely not trying to troll here, but the way to stop scams like this is for people to not buy games that are incredibly obviously made in a hurry to cash in on the success of other games. It’s almost a shame that Steam are offering refunds to unhappy purchasers, as it means the lesson won’t sting as much and therefore have less chance of sticking.
      On the other hand, hopefully the devs will feel the sting of lost money instead – I can be happy with that.

      This does sound like I’m trolling, but this game irks the hell out of me. I am angry.

      • Kodeen says:

        I understand completely what you are saying, and might agree if I thought all those who bought the game on release without research were capable of introspection from the aftermath of it, and what it means when making a purchase. Sadly, I do not think this.

        Also, it’s right for Steam to offer a refund as they genuinely made a mistake by releasing it. For them to keep their cut of games sold after admitting the game is not fit for purchase would be, if nothing else, bad PR.

      • AmateurScience says:

        Worth remembering that not everyone, or perhaps even a majority (no idea actually, seems reasonable based on the pageviews that RPS &c get) of folks who play games read the specialist press frequently enough to be able to tell the difference between the promised DayZ standalone, and this monstrosity, especially considering the length of time that’s passed since the buzz around the former, and the high rotation/visibility adverts floating around all over the web for the latter.

        • Baines says:

          More true than you think, since Steam’s search engine was apparently set to find War Z if you searched for “DayZ”. And people suspected it wasn’t an accident, because other variations did not (and “Day Z” with a space returned ARMA II).

      • Pamplemousse says:

        Yeah you really haven’t thought this through at all.

        Sure, you can spot this sort of thing because:

        A) You are familiar with DayZ, the game it is rather blatantly ripping off.
        B) You probably read at least two video game news/opinion websites right? Like RPS and Eurogamer, maybe PC gamer?

        But what about those who just aren’t as informed, and expect – quite rightly – that the fact that its a top seller on steam ensures some basic quality. What if you thought the screenshots looked pretty sweet and that the things its purportedly offering are cool, but think it necessary or aren’t even aware of there being any risk when buying games over a great service like steam?

        What if then you were pissed off to found that you’ve bought into a lazy, rehashed copycat of a game run by pseudo-criminals? So your response is: “Learn your lesson dickhead!”

        I mean… really?

        • dontnormally says:

          President Weasel‘s tone was nothing like what you injected.

          • Pamplemousse says:

            People shouldn’t be offered refunds so that they can have a lesson /forced/ on them. In fact, he seems to suggest that the problem lies with the consumer, and not the terrible business practice. Trolling or not, that is insulting.

          • President Weasel says:

            The success of the terrible business practice points out a flaw in the consumers – as a mass, they are underinformed, and do not realise it.
            It doesn’t mean I take pleasure in their disappointment and unhappiness; it does mean I can hope they learn that a little information goes a long way. There is a specialist press, and it comes free with every internet. The information is there.

            “Learn a lesson dickhead”, no. “This is a painful experience but there are some genuinely useful lessons you can take away from it”, yes.

          • Victuz says:

            Thing is the fact that these business practices exist points solely to the fact that it IS the consumers fault. If they behaved more sensibly with their money than scams like that would not happen as often as they do.

            If the consumers don’t learn than it will just keep going on.

            EDIT: And I get nijad by weasel >_>

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            @Victus: Not at all. There are multiple parties involved. Often there are various ways to ascertain the quality of goods long before the customer enters the picture. Consider food or children’s toys, for instance.

            I would say that a customer who believes what a Steam store page says and buys the product even though the details on said page are largely false isn’t the only one to blame. Steam is too, and so is the industry itself (potentially). Why the last? The more of these practices are allowed to endure the more damage is done to the gaming industry as a whole. This is also why in other industries there are associations which give out quality guarantees for qualifying members so as to ensure quality for the customer and allow the customer to choose without resorting to paranoia and being afraid of being ripped off. And considering Valve is a developer itself that makes Valve doubly so responsible.

          • spedcor666 says:

            @Victuz

            ‘the fact that it IS the consumers fault’

            That’s not a fact, that’s your opinion, and a pretty poor one at that. Thankfully, Valve don’t share your opinion and are issuing refunds.

          • Crafty_Banana says:

            I find it strange that anyone would want to blame the customer in this case. If I walk into Tesco and buy a tin of beans from Brand X, then get it home and open it to find it contains only cockroaches, I would be outraged, and that wouldn’t be lessened by a mate telling me “Dude, all Brand X’s cans are full of cockroaches. Do some research. It’s all in the Bean Buyer’s Weekly.” I purchased a can labelled ‘beans’ from a reputable retailer. I have a right to expect it contains goddamn beans without needing to read around the issue.

          • Pamplemousse says:

            “This is a painful experience but there are some genuinely useful lessons you can take away from it”

            “Can I have my money back?”

            “No. Now go learn your lesson some more.”

          • zbeeblebrox says:

            I’d love to see the people in this thread, lead by Pres. Weasel, try starting a store that actually follows their ridiculous “it’s always the customer’s fault” philosophy. That would be hilarious

        • IamEightBit says:

          I have to agree, I mean not everyone who plays games cares enough about gaming to do research about it before they purchase it. And by that I mean serious research, yes most people do read something about the game as well as look at some gameplay(screenshots or video) but most don’t do any serious research, especially when the game is just over 10 dollars. Most just play games when they have a little free time. For those who do love gaming and take there purchases seriously, well there the ones who knew better. But to say they shouldn’t refund those who were disappointed with the game to teach them a lesson on purchasing a game without first doing lots of research isn’t fair.

      • S Jay says:

        Refunds are something guaranteed by law, so Steam is not having an exception to War Z. They are just reminding people something like “ok, this game was not ready for release, if you bought it and want your money back, remember you can do so by opening a ticket”.

        Believe it or not, not everyone is like you and me who researches opinions (from journalists that are not bought). Some people just want to check out – and they have the right to do so. I even have a friend who owns since alpha and says he enjoys the game, despite its million problems.

        Summary: 1) Steam is right to offer refunds. 2) Refund is not an exception to War Z. 3) people are different and not everyone is hardcore.

        • Llewyn says:

          Surprisingly, laws aren’t global.

          • dontnormally says:

            …Under some circumstances, they are?
            paradoxitrolling

          • S Jay says:

            Surprisingly, Steam is actually located somewhere which guarantees refunds – so they do this.

          • Llewyn says:

            Keep digging, S Jay, keep digging.

          • JohnnyMaverik says:

            Actually I believe Steam do offer refunds. I know for a fact a friend of mine bought Dead Space and it wouldn’t launch after install, I tried to help him fix it but no luck, helped him file a ticket, a Steam employee came back a few hours later (lucky, I had to issue a ticket once and was left waiting a couple of days) and said it was a known issue with that specific game but they could not offer a fix as of yet, offered him a full refund and even went as far to check if he had L4D (or at least I presume they did) and offered him a free copy on top of the refund in way of an apology. He took the refund and the free copy was his regardless of whether he took it or waited for a fix to come along, which is pretty awesome if you ask me.

            Don’t know if he just got lucky, and I gather the error was only something people experienced through a steam version of the game so that might have swayed them, but I doubt many other online stores and you can forget retail stores (I’ve seen CEX in the uk stacking used copies of steamworks games before… what a slap in the face to their customers) would have been that willing and apologetic.

          • zbeeblebrox says:

            Llewyn, stop being stupid. Steam is bound not only by US laws, but by the laws in the state that Valve is located. They have to continue to operate this way for as long as they wish to be allowed to have an office in the US.

          • Llewyn says:

            OK, I’ll spell it out a little more clearly. Steam operates under multiple jurisdictions, and is subject to the consumer protection laws applicable in each of those jurisdictions separately (leaving aside the interesting jurisdictional horse-trading that goes on in certain situations). Those consumer protection laws vary considerably, and their application is not universal. There is no real concept of “the law” governing all activities of multi-national entities.

            Please cite the relevant legislation which guarantees refunds for all Steam customers in situations like this, I’m always interested in learning more about legal differences.

        • Reikon says:

          US? Guaranteed refunds? Ha. The only “guaranteed” refund you can do it dispute the charge, which would likely get your Steam account banned.

      • Lev Astov says:

        I agree, except that I don’t think the lesson would stick either way.

        People won’t be receiving the message “This is a painful experience but there are some genuinely useful lessons you can take away from it”, but will instead place all blame on the developer, lest they think they did anything wrong, themselves. No one thinks they’re at fault for anything unless it’s blindingly obvious.

        So, how do we make people understand this?

        Even if they do get it, most people won’t go out and search for a solution to their problem (specialist press). How do we get them to know sites like RPS exist?

        I doubt Steam wants to be in the business of telling its customers they’ve made mistakes or pointing them to outside press, but it’s the only solution to this type of scam I can think of.

        • Ruffian says:

          Idk but if you have steam and a few games, they constantly post articles from RPS and PC and sometimes Eurogamer on the news pages, it’s not that hard to find the information. I think getting them to actually care would probably be the real struggle.

      • GSGregory says:

        All in all I cannot believe the response you guys are having. Going to the bed analogy everyone started using if a shipment of boxed and sealed beds were all missing the leg and the manufacturer told the retail store they were a good shipment you don’t expect the retailer to open and unseal every box for quality check. People trusted steam with their money and steam got a load of bs from the creators and has taken action in fulfilling the trust of its users by removing the item and giving refunds for a faulty product.

        You guys are saying the people who got lied to should get scammed and have money stolen from them what does that do? Punish the victim and reward the thief with their reward. What logical sense does that make.

        • darkChozo says:

          That’s a poor analogy, considering that the equivalent to a table would be a single downloaded game (and they probably do check each box for missing legs, assuming they’re checksumming their download). A better analogy would be that a furniture store should check that the product companies send them is a serviceable table that isn’t slanted, doesn’t collapse when you put a few books on it, doesn’t have sharp edges, stuff like that. Not hours and hours of testing, but a fifteen minute peek to make sure it’s not a crap product.

          That being said, Steam has no responsibility per se for checking the products they sell. It does, however, affect their status as a reputable storefront; if I buy WarZ or any other game and it’s functionally broken, I may not be as willing to purchase anything in the future if it’s remotely risky and would cost more than a few bucks. That could end up costing Steam money in the long run.

          • GSGregory says:

            Your download comparison makes no sense. A checksum would only tell them if it was the same product they have on the list not what is actually inside of it or what it is capable of. Your analogy requires that they have a fully functional version or product to compare it to and while you could compare a table or other physical object against a standard but a game has no standard to compare.

            Here we have not a faulty batch but the product itself is faulty or rather made false claims and I don’t expect steam to test every game submission for every feature it has.

            I do expect steam to do a recall when it is found that the product is faulty and that is what they have done.

          • darkChozo says:

            Wow, I apparently didn’t read your post very closely. My checksum thing is only valid for the “open every box” bit, but I think my analogy is almost the same. The War Z is comparable to some vaguely reputable furniture manufacturer releasing a new bed and sending a store a shipment of the new bed. The store really should take one of these beds and make sure they’re vaguely suitable for sleeping — not filled with nails, can support an average person, etc. Once again, nothing exhaustive, just open a box and do a 15 minute lookover. And once again, Steam’s not responsible for doing that, but if I buy a boxed bed from Steam and find that the mattress is filled with iron filings, I’m probably going to question myself in the future if I want to buy from Steam, particularly if it was a moderately expensive bed.

          • Wisq says:

            The notion that Steam should have to play through every title they sell to make sure it’s actually of release quality is insane, and akin to the equally insane idea of a brick-and-mortar games store doing the same for every title that passes through their shelves, or a supermarket testing every product for foodborne illness.

            No, instead you do exactly what they did. You trust that when a developer says “okay, this is our finished product, it is release quality, and it does [list of features]“, they really mean it. You put them up for sale with those features listed. If it turns out they’re pulling a fast one on you and your customers — as evidenced by a large proportion of customers complaining about it — you pull it from the shelves, you issue an apology, and you reach out to your customers (particularly the complainers) and apologise and offer refunds.

            Shit happens. Steam’s job is to ensure that it happens rarely (by carefully choosing which developers they intend to work with) and to take the side of the customers when it does. You can’t realistically ask for anything more than that.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        You know, not every outburst of emotion, anger or negativity is trolling, or should be considered trolling. It’s only trolling when you don’t have a point, or if you’re keeping the WARFACE meme going.

      • sabasNL says:

        Get your facts straight. This game started development before Day Z got populair, or practically even before release. I bought this game, not because I wanted a Day Z rip-off; Because I have played it, in it’s current and previous test versions, and I liked it alot. In fact, I liked it better than Day Z and similair mods.

        This is a game that has been built from the ground up as a zombie survival game, and it’s features are promising. I find it more fun to play than DayZ, and there actually big differences. Don’t judge a game on it’s title, looks, or test builds. Judge it when you’ve seen gameplay of the finished product.

        • GSGregory says:

          I think it is better judged by lying to customers on the what it can do. Doesn’t matter at all rather or not it has anything to do with day z.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Yah, once they start lieing to people, it sorta taints the well on all their other claims and comments. Maybe it started development before Day Z, or maybe they are just fibbing on that too. Maybe they’d already had the name picked, or maybe that’s just another lie. Etc.

            And, Big Rigs…..

        • Cockles says:

          Hmm… I may be out of order but you sound surprisingly like this…

          http://steamcommunity.com/app/226700/discussions/0/828925849078398187/#p1

          Not because you are defending the game, there are people who like it and that is completely fine, but you comment sounds like a PR/marketing type thing. If I”m wrong then I apologise but I’d bet that you’re involved with this game somehow, in which case stop being misleading.

          Edited for removal of profanity!

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        I wonder how many bought this thinking it was DayZ

      • Cockles says:

        Sorry but you’re being a bit of a dick. Yes, consumers should educate themselves as much as possible if but a product has deliberately misleading advertising features then how exactly can you blame the consumer? All you seem to be saying is “see, I told you so”.

        In the UK, it is recognised that all transactions revolve around trust – trust that the seller will sell what the claim to be selling and the buyer will pay on the agreed amount, the most obvious abuse here would be the salesperson making up or misrepresenting a product and that is why we have consumer protection laws. Note the “consumer” part. Do you understand?

        This could possibly be a breach of tort if it was pursued, there is no need to call people stupid for not doing their homework – they bought something that purported to be something it was not.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      Do you blame the game store for a game they sell being released too early?

      • Unaco says:

        You should have seen the sh*t-fit I threw in Woolworths over the E.T. Video game in 1982.

        • IamEightBit says:

          lol, Epic. I’m not sure if this game is on the same level as the E.T. abomination was, but I see your point and agree.

      • SighmanSays says:

        In a word. Yes.

      • Vorphalack says:

        I think anyone making profit from the sale of a product has some level of responsibility in quality control. It’s something Valve do need to tighten up on a bit, maybe not to the extent of Apple or Microsoft, but enough to ensure that people are not being deliberately mislead by products on Steam.

      • S Jay says:

        Yes.

        If you buy a bed and it is in fact missing a leg, you are going to the store to complain about it (not to the factory).

        War Z was missing advertised features, the store is also responsible.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yes. And the store then take the issue up with the manufacturer if a lot of customers are doing this.

          It’s simpler and smoother for everyone if you only have to go one step up the chain.

        • Banana_Republic says:

          Nonsense.

          Software retailers are NOT the quality assurance department for every developer and publisher they deal with. They sell a product that a manufacturer has identified as market-ready. It is not their responsibility, not their mandate, to test drive every game and application they put on the digital shelf. Steam has no more culpability in this fiasco than EB Games or Wal-Mart would have, for games put on their physical shelves.

          Hammerpoint released a defective product and deceived both the consumer and their retail partner, by misrepresenting the quality and the content of the game. Steam did what any good retailer would do and refunded the purchases, once it was clear what has happened.

          If you buy a bed and it’s missing a leg, yes, you do what most consumers do and complain to the retailer, who would then offer a refund. But that doesn’t mean that it’s their responsibility that a leg is missing. That fault lies with the manufacturer. Just because most consumers are too dense to understand how a supply chain works, doesn’t mean they are correct in blaming the only face they get to see when they have a problem.

          Steam has lived up to it’s obligation by offering blanket refunds and pulled the game. That’s all they owe anyone. Still bitter? Write a letter to Hammerpoint. They are the ones who tried to cheat their customers.

          • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

            Edit: trimmed my response, because after re-reading your I realised I was just repeating the same points.

          • fucrate says:

            Lying to a customer about the product is absolutely the responsibility of the store, it’s false advertising. The fact that there is a list of features on Steam which totally misrepresent the game is exactly the same as going to a bed store, an employee pointing to a cardboard box saying there is a bed inside and you getting it home to find it’s full of shit. The store has a responsibility to be accurate and honest in their transactions with customers.

          • Vorphalack says:

            @Banana_Republic

            ”Steam has no more culpability in this fiasco than EB Games or Wal-Mart would have, for games put on their physical shelves.”

            As someone who has had to deal with the wrong end of defective goods several times in the last few years, I can tell you for a fact that you are wrong about that. The vendor is usually responsible under warranty for a portion of the products lifespan, unless the manufacturer specifically states that they will be the sole responsible party. Vendors have an obligation to ensure that they are selling working products, and that the products functional as advertised. Vendors CAN sell broken crap, but it must be clearly labeled as broken crap. War Z was clearly not so labelled, and therefore Steam must accept some responsibility for the sale of defective and miss-sold goods.

          • rb2610 says:

            @fucrate
            That’s not really an appropriate analogy, I’m pretty certain that Steam get supplied the publisher’s description and featurelist as it would be on a boxed copy and pretty much copypasta onto the store page.

            In this case, Valve themselves have been hoodwinked as well as the customer, as the publisher has fed them a false description. Much as if a brick & mortar shop was supplied a load of games with set features listed on the box that aren’t present in the game.

            You wouldn’t expect a brick & mortar shop to playtest every game they sell to confirm it meets it’s listed featureset, so it’s unfair to expect any online retailer to.

            Unless however the retailer chooses to provide their own product descriptions and featurelists, as opposed to manufacturer-provided ones.

          • Skull says:

            You would have thought with all the testers they freed up by introducing this Greenlight for the indie “peasants”, they would be able to get someone to play the games they give the VIP treatment too.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            @ Vorphalack, Maybe it’s different in the UK, but that’s not how it works in the USA.

            So, let’s say I sell vacuums. I should go and test every single vacuum to see that they all work, test the motors to make sure they have the proper RPM, make sure all of the features are actually there, etc? No.

            If I sell a vacuum that has improper sale information on the box that was provided by the manufacturer, then I do not have to ensure what they say is correct. I am not liable for the claims made by the manufacturer. If I make my own claims about the product, such as that it can suck up and hold a kg of sand, then I must be able to validate that claim.

            If I sell a vacuum that advertises on the box that its motor runs at 5,000 RPM and it actually runs at 2,500 RPM, I am not liable for that. The manufacturer is. If I post the manufacturer’s provided product information onto sale signs and find out later that it’s not true, then I am not liable for the incorrect information, the manufacturer is. If I do receive notice that the information I’m providing is incorrect, but continue to do it anyways, then I am on the hook as knowingly supplying false information with intent to defraud.

            Typically, the retailer will take the product and issue their customer a refund, then contact the manufacturer to return the item for a refund to the store or a replacement. Or, in the case of false advertising, issue refunds to customers and then return all stock of the product to the manufacturer for a refund so that the store doesn’t have to deal with more angry customers and paperwork.

            @ Skull: I think you vastly overestimate the size of Valve’s staff.

          • Skull says:

            In 2009, 250 people were working at Valve. (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/226723/interviews/valves-chet-faliszek-part-2/?page=1#top_banner)

            It doesn’t seem like a huge number for a relatively well known company. However, that question was asked three years ago, and even then Chet said they were moving to an office double the size. Considering how much Valve have grown and released over the past few years (quite a lot if you think about it), I would imagine the company would be around 350 at the very least.

            Still doesn’t seem like a huge number though. However, Chet then goes on to say they only have 60 people at a time working on a game. Seeing as Valve, at the very most, have two games in development at once, that means a maximum of 120 people will be out of the team. (Although, DOTA 2 and CS: GO were technically outsourced, and the developers kept on to keep working on the game after launch so I doubt even this made any dent in their manpower).

            So yeah, at the very very least, they had 230 people left for admin, HR, testing etc.

            They could, of course, made redundant all those testers who were doing the job greenlighting does for them. But then, they should still have enough testers left to cover that regardless. Even if they didn’t have enough testers, they certainly have the money to hire more which they should now focus on.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @stupid_mcgee – you hit the nail on the head when you said this is not how it works in the US but it is how it works in Europe. I bet we could separate Europeans from the USAians in this debate by which side of the line they sit!

            But if you sell a product to a European market, you are absolutely responsible for ensuring what you are selling meets the claims you are publishing (Even if they are printed on a vacuum cleaner box on display in your store). It’s not all doom and gloom though, because of course you get to reclaim from your supplier who get to reclaim from the manufacturer.

            In the US, if a retailer doesn’t want to help, it is the customers responsibility to climb the chain to get their money back – six of one and half a dozen of the other, each system has it’s pro’s and cons and I suspect it is linked to the value added tax system (Or lack thereof).

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            @ Sheng-ji: Thanks for thew response and the insight, and I bet you’re right that you could divide the two via their responses!

            Also, I saw your other post about someone trying to scam you with the price of a wheelchair. That is absolutely sickening. I hope you reported that person and something was done. Abusing and taking advantage of people like that is beyond loathsome.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Stupid_mcgee – it’s an ongoing story! The authorities weren’t too interested, as I had managed to get my money back, they felt there was nothing they needed to do. I made public his business practices on a forum which he relies on for trade and he claimed to be retiring because of my “cruel attack”. What he really did was shut down his company and start a new one up under a different name. I’ve tracked down two other people who were scammed who are interested in taking action against him and I’m just gathering evidence right now, sifting through all their emails and letters to him to absolutely belt and braces make sure we get him!

    • Shuck says:

      There’s a fresh scandal – apparently, emboldened by their top sales ranking on Steam, they changed the 1-hour wait after you’re killed to a 4-hour wait… unless you spent real money on an instant respawn. Given that it’s not a free-to-play game, that’s seriously inexcusable. If I had been undecided about this game being a money-grabbing scam before, I’m not now.

      • Fwiffo says:

        Amazing. To add such an obvious moneygrabbing and anti-gamer mechanic when the heat is already on you is just insane. The developers are either arrogant, deluded or desperate.

      • Ruffian says:

        Yeah that’s pretty stupid and dick move. Those damn things better cost like a penny. I would just get a refund anyway though, regardless of the quality of the game at that point. Even an hour doesn’t make sense to me in a game you’ve already paid for. I don’t see how even that is acceptable, really.

        • Shuck says:

          Each respawn apparently costs 50 “gold coins” which add up to 40 cents each time. And there’s a minimum $5 purchase of gold coins. Forcing players to wait an hour to respawn was, by itself, inexcusable. This is the kind of move that causes gamers with torches and pitchforks to track developers down to their homes.

  4. valient says:

    Knowing how Valve deals with this kind of stuff it will be all under wraps unless the developers themselves come out and say steam screwing them or something.

  5. El Stevo says:

    It’s because it’s a pile of shit. Valve should never have let it on there in the first place.

  6. TonyRockyHorror says:

    Thank god this trash is out of there.

  7. SkittleDiddler says:

    Props to Valve, although I’m willing to bet this is only temporary. Very temporary.

  8. Sirico says:

    But they apologized at least ” We also want to extend our apologies to all players who misread information about game features.”

  9. jmexio says:

    Well, after what I read here about War Z, this makes me very happy. A little late? Maybe… But it still warms my heart to see how such blatant disrespect and lack of morals, not only towards competition they copied, but (maybe primarily, from valve’s point of view) towards their costumers, results very quickly in them getting kicked out.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      “Very quickly” is entirely subjective. The game shouldn’t have been allowed into the Store to begin with.

  10. RedViv says:

    I’ll get the rugs and cauldrons.

  11. Sandvich says:

    IT’S HAPPENING

  12. db1331 says:

    SAVE FACE?

  13. Rawrian says:

    Feck this shite! (This is how British people say, right?)

  14. RedViv says:

    One can only hope so.

  15. jhng says:

    I’m guessing Valve also have their lawyers looking at how far the might have some secondary liability for the various consumer and IP issues. Hopefully this will kick it into touch until well after DayZ standalone has made it’s mark.

  16. kendrakirai says:

    Its interesting that *This* gets refunds and such, when Sword of the Stars 2, which is *still* getting updates to fix critical crash-to-desktop bugs every week, after six months, is not.

    I preordered that. And the launch price was twice or three times what it’s selling for now. It was *unplayable*, and it still seems barely playable *now*.

    • Trithne says:

      SotS2 doesn’t falsely advertise itself though. Everything listed on the tin, the game does, or at least tries its best to do before crashing or not quite doing it correct. WarZ had outright fabrications.

      Also SotS2′s issues are that godawful UI and some truly aggravating design decisions.

      • Armitage says:

        They removed the fabrications earlier today. Removal from the store seems to be because of additional unresolved issues, probably related to people being pissed as hell at Hammerpoint.

    • Cuddlefish says:

      Okay, I’m not sure whether this is disingenuous or an honest reaction; but seriously? SotS 2 is not a perfect game. The UI is frustrating, the turn times can drag, the AI is a work in progress, and the documentation is lacking. To say it’s in anywhere near the same category as a blatant scam like this, however? Have you played it since the all-clear? It’s received every feature initially planned, has added new content since then, and is generally stable in my own play experience. Yes, there have been a few CTDs, and more than a few bugs [which are stamped out as they are located, often in hot-fixes days after they are reported]. That is a thing that happens in games. The launch happened, it was a complete trainwreck. The fixing of that wreck has taken time. But that isn’t fraud, which is what you’re comparing it to; and refunds WERE offered immediately during that trainwreck launch.

    • caddyB says:

      It’s only missing the scenarios, rest of the features all work. It’s like a late beta, playable and fun but rather rough.. I guess it still needs a few more months of work.

      But, if you compare WarZ to SotsII at launch.. I don’t know. Paradox did refunds though.

  17. jrod says:

    Played the closed beta, will not play. ever. again. It’s utter garbage. Feel bad for those suckered into buying it on Steam.

  18. sinister agent says:

    Oh hey look, an apology that’s actually an apology, and not a condescending insult. They should sit down with the War Z guys, teach them to grow the hell up.

  19. diamondmx says:

    An excellent decision by Valve, but they really should fix their refund policy in general – then this wouldn’t have taken special action to fix.

  20. Drake Sigar says:

    Now THAT’S an apology.

  21. Discopanda says:

    HOORAY!

  22. Hoaxfish says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing them forced to re-apply through Greenlight, but I suspect they could con their way to success that way as well.

    • dazman76 says:

      I wouldn’t mind seeing them spanked by Gabe Newell, which is possibly something I should speak to a therapist about.

  23. Ice-Fyre says:

    There’s no way Valve was gonna leave it on there, with the xmas sale coming up tomorrow. Would have been bad PR

    • f1x says:

      I’m not exactly a Valve/Steam fanboy, but in my opinion:
      They did the proper thing, its not only about PR, but as said Valve cannot put down a game because the game is BAD or its not running 100% fine, thats a different thing, the problem here was the fraud and blatant lies when it came to promoting the game features which was vulnerating customer rights
      Still they had to investigate a bit and find out if truly there was a fraud with the screenshots and the game advertising features that are actually non-existant

      At least thats how I’ve percieved the whole history, let me know if I’m wrong

      As said If they had to put down every a game everytime a mass of angry people complains, well Steam would have 0 games, if you think otherwise you are invited to check the forums a bit
      Of course in this case the offense was in a higher (or sky high) level, so it was obvious that Valve had to intervene

      If after that people still wants to see Steam as the root of all evil in this, well I cannot really understand it,
      I think in this actual times Steam customer service and overall policies are quite good

      And also, they actually apologized (and it seems, with sincerity), which is much to say coming from a big company

  24. Unaco says:

    So, do we think that this will ever be… back from the dead? Or will they take it out back and put it out of its misery.

  25. Revolving Ocelot says:

    You could say that it’s a Christmas miracle.

  26. dethtoll says:

    That’s actually a shame. I was kind of hoping The War Z would turn out good.

    • Armitage says:

      A lot of people still are! Unfortunately, Sergey Titov and Hammerpoint don’t realize that they are quickly burning though all the goodwill and “benefit-of-the-doubt” the community has.

      I hope Rocket and the DayZ team are watching TheWarz as an example of “what not to do”.

  27. TechnicalBen says:

    Seems the winner of the conversation here is Steam. People complain about the service, but that comment from them was both grown up, honest (while keeping professional I know) and took action where they could have just used words. That’s 1000000+ bonus points and double XP for Steam in my books. Granted, the large scope of games means mistakes like this are possible, but taking honest and quick action balances it out.

    It’s also a good move if they (as it seems they are) keep the game running for those who did purchase.

    • Snoken says:

      True but the real question is, how is it possible that a company that sells millions of games just puts this garbage out for sale without any hesitation? Feels like they never even took the time to have a go at it themselves. Are they starting to ride the origin train now?

      • Chaosed0 says:

        You said it yourself; they sell many, many games. Occasionally whoever looks at the quality of the build will think about their wives/husbands and get horny, or regret taking the path they did in college and muse about the current state of their life, or just plain get bored, and hits the accept button without thinking.
        What I’m saying is that everyone makes mistakes.

      • Banana_Republic says:

        I’ve bought a lot of crap games over the years, and a lot of them were before there was such a thing as digital distribution. And in each of those cases, what I recall is the name on the box of junk I bought, not the name on the receipt. And I bet that’s the same for most people. And why is that? Because the name on the receipt has sweet f*** all to do with the contents of the box.

        Brick and mortar retailers DO NOT receive advanced copies of new release software in order to run QA trials on it. They place an order with a distributor, manufacturer or publisher, then put the product out on release day. If it happens to be defective, they offer refunds then demand the same from their supplier. That’s how it works. Why should a digital retailer by held to a higher standard than that which is expected of their physical world counterparts?

        Those folks painting a bullseye on Steam’s back for this incident, either have a bone to pick with the service for other reasons, are lashing out blindly and not acting rationally, or are just clueless about how a cow magically ends up on their plate as steak.

      • Armitage says:

        Big companies make big mistakes all the time. Just look at the Apple Maps thing. This one just happened to create a highly visible and customer facing issue.

  28. SkittleDiddler says:

    pcgamer.com is set to interview Sergey Titov later today. I can’t wait to read what kind of bullshit he’s going to try to pander this time around.

    EDIT: Well well, here it is — http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/12/20/the-war-z-interview-sergey-titov-backlash/. Looks like the PR guys took over for this one.

    • Armitage says:

      Looking at his track record, Sergey Titov will likely respond with blatant lies and a dismissive attitude toward his customers.

      I’d like to hear PC Gamer ask him how he feels about having ruined the launch of what could have been a defining title in the zombie survival genre.

      • kyrieee says:

        This game could never have been that.

        • Armitage says:

          I disagree, it has several hundred thousand purchasers. They had the financial means to deliver a quality product and a captive audience. Put another qualified and reputable developer in that position, and it becomes a success story instead of this aweful trainwreck.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Right, but there was never an attempt at quality. Everything was just a cash grab. Zombie survival got really popular, Z at the end of the name, promised features that sound nice. That describes WarZ, but does not describe anything that could be a good game.

  29. soco says:

    Good move by Steam. Makes me feel good that they took this action.

    For those saying “shouldn’t have been on Steam at all” or “not fast enough” I understand that folks are upset and for those that bought the game they can thankfully get refunds, but I’d rather that Steam understand and admit to a mistake. Better to investigate and take the time to look into the issue and come up with a solution than make a knee-jerk reaction to something and possibly makes matters worse. Remember for a large corporation two days is not a lot of time for turnaround, all things considered this was somewhat quick. I’m just happy things are coming out correctly.

    And for those that are saying “stupid buyers didn’t read up and got conned, too bad for them, they shouldn’t get refunds” nice job blaming the victim. Perhaps the ire should go toward the developers putting out an unfinished game with false advertising.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I’m not sure how Valve doing a minimal amount of research before allowing the game for sale would have been a knee-jerk reaction. “Trusted Developer” status is something they need to take a serious look at.

      • Baines says:

        But that is the problem. “Trusted Developer” means a developer that they trust, one that they don’t need to review the game before approval. War, Inc was on Steam without complaint.

        Steam had to introduce Greenlight because they weren’t able to review enough smaller games as it was.

      • Citrus says:

        “I’m not sure how Valve doing a minimal amount of research before allowing the game for sale would have been a knee-jerk reaction.”

        Now now. Let the fanboys suck Valve’s dick. They need to do it, no matter what.

  30. Snoken says:

    To quote Ron Burgundy: “Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.”.

    I haven’t had such a good time reading about games like this one in a very long while. xD

  31. QbertEnhanced says:

    Huh, with all this drama going on I kind of want to buy the game just to see what the fuss is all about.

    • strangeloup says:

      “Everyone is saying this restaurant puts dog shit in all its food! I better book a table to find out if it’s true!”

      • QbertEnhanced says:

        Indeed. Terrible things can be amusing in their own fashion, and I like to see for myself (at least for relatively inexpensive things such as this).

        • vandinz says:

          Check out Totalbiscuits first impression video. Never seen him lose his rag like that before.

          • Askis says:

            It’s kinda interesting, on the 18th Totalbiscuit publishes a video in which he smashes War Z and says (repeatedly) that it shouldn’t be sold on Steam in it’s current state, on the 19th it’s removed from Steam.
            Coincidence?

  32. AmateurScience says:

    This makes me wonder about the non-greenlight process for getting on steam. I have no idea how it works, but I assume that you can pay to fast-track it? Just how much curating/QA do Valve do? And where the hell was I?

  33. trjp says:

    Did this game get through Greenlight or did it get approved via the other system which isnt’ supposed to exist anymore!?!?

    • Velko says:

      It wasn’t greenlit, the “other system” is alive and well. Valve are taking in games both from Greenlight and through the shadows of their old system.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Greenlight was never meant to replace the old system.

      • trjp says:

        Look – 2 people who are easily proven wrong with 1 link! :)

        http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/FAQ.php

        Been discussed to death in the Greenlight thread, unless you have an existing deal with Valve, Greenlight is the ONLY way to get into Steam.

        The Steam guy who talked to me (about my Greenlight Lite stuff) confirmed this was the case – NO OTHER WAY he said – NO OTHER WAY onto Steam – it’s all about the Greenlight ‘rigged’ popularity contest…

        Yeah right

        • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          “unless you have an existing deal with Valve”, which they did apparently did. Look at the comment a few further up.

          • trjp says:

            By my viewing of a calendar – and judging of progress – they must have done a deal with Valve using the beermat on which they wrote “make a rip-off of DayZ” :)

          • lordcooper says:

            They also made War Inc, a failed f2p MMo that is on Steam, and the base for War Z.

        • Armitage says:

          That’s a load of crap. I don’t believe for a second if a company without a existing relationship and an established customer base approached steam and said “we’re not indie and we don’t want to greenlight”, that Valve would tell them to take a hike? C’mon really?

          For example, Kojima has never made a PC game. If he decided to change that would Steam really tell him to wait in line on Greenlight? I find that hard to believe.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          What about WadjetEye? All their games are on Steam and still Primordia had to go through Greenlight?

          • benkc says:

            As I understand it, a dev can still choose to put a game up on Greenlight if they feel that will be faster or whatnot.

  34. hypercrisis says:

    This happens way too often, Steam has become a really sloppy service, and nobody seems to give a shit. Many titles have critical bugs, many without even real fixes. Now Greenlight comes along and the issue is compounded by a plethora of broken unfinished games

    Steam needs quality control

    • trjp says:

      In fairness, Greenlight games haven’t been any better of worse than pre-Greenlight games – and Valve have always taken a hands-off approach to games.

      On the upside, that means they don’t charge huge sums for patches – indeed a developer can patch their game anytime they like – e.g. that part works properly.

      It’s upto a developer to ensure their game is ready for ‘prime time’ – there’s no system to detect people ‘cashing in’ but I restate my question of how The War Z got into Steam as I really don’t remember it being on Greenlight and they aren’t supposed to have any other way…

      • Armitage says:

        Who said Greenlight is the only way to get a game on Steam? Do you think Black Ops 2 did a Greenlight ?

        EDIT: Apparently I am wrong.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Valve have a process for Steam called “Trusted Developer”, though it’s not really a process; it’s simply a go-term that allows for publishers and devs who have a proven Steam sales record to release subsequent products without oversight or QA on Valve’s part. That’s what happened with The War Z, and this isn’t the first time it’s bitten Valve in the ass.

        In other words, Greenlight is not — and never will be — a replacement for Valve’s standard approval system.

    • Armitage says:

      On the scale of Open to Closed (0 being MS Windows (pre-8) and Apple App store being 10). Valve is about a 4. Being fairly open means that not all your offerings are going to be great. The benefit is that that you can provide a ton of variety in the products you sell.

      They are not the developer or the publisher, they are the retailer. It has always been the developers’ and publishers’ responsibility to QA their products.

      Can Valve do better ? Yes, but let’s not pretend that they are to blame for these problems.

    • Clavus says:

      Hell no. I think they’re fine. This is the first incident in which a game is pulled from Steam because of its bad quality. But I don’t want Steam to start setting high quality bars for games. First reason being it’s all subjective, second reason being that the CONSUMER should do his research. In the case of The War Z customers were lied to so Valve intervened, but normally you are responsible for what you do with your money.

  35. rundboll says:

    This game seemed dead anyway.

  36. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving game. The insider buzz on The WarZ’s development and behavior has been pretty goddamn deplorable.

    Glad Valve are letting them pull their shit on steam anymore, and good for them with the refunds.

  37. vandinz says:

    Nature bless Valve.

  38. vandinz says:

    Wow! I’m in! Here, take my bank account details. My Paypal account is …

  39. SkittleDiddler says:

    I think it’s important to note that Valve are not handing out cash refunds for The War Z — Steam Wallet credit refunds only.

    They’re still getting your money. This is a win/win for Valve.

  40. szhival says:

    Am I the only one feeling bad because of this [and the possible failure of the movie] for the War Z book..?

  41. ZephaniahGrey says:

    Good job Steam. Now how about that holiday sale? 6 days to go and nothing. At least other retailers aren’t such scrooges. And may GoG bless us, everyone!

  42. PopeJamal says:

    Jesus Christ, I hope everyone complaining in internet land is happy now. All the gnashing of teeth, wailing, pissing, moaning, general whining and the rhythmic dick-riding on DayZ was making me sea-sick. And oh god, the smell…

    I’ve never seen so many people, apparently, personally offended by a shitty knock-off game.

  43. HKZ says:

    Pretty cool of Valve to offer refunds/Steam credit. Most retailers/e-tailers would tell you to fuck right off, “you bought it too bad.” I know Valve has it’s non-fans, but I’ve never been burned on a Steam purchase whereas I’ve been burned many a time elsewhere. Even Steam credit is cool with me because there’s a massive variety there and my 30mb connection gets me what I want pretty fast.

  44. mrmalodor says:

    Good riddance.

  45. Shockeh says:

    Valve should be absolutely applauded for this. Yes, it took them a bit longer than you might think was necessary; but they did something that no other publisher or retailer would have done, which is to accept the responsibility of sorting the mess out.

    If you’ve bought a title and it’s a buggy, unfinished mess, GAME certainly wouldn’t be helping you at this point, and in fact it’d almost certainly still be on the shelves so they can shill their stock more and get it out of their hands like the dirty turd it was.

  46. reyn78 says:

    I really don’t understand this anti-Steam hype in this regard. It is a store, right? It is not the producer. Do brick and mortar stores run tests on all products from, say, Company X to determine whether they are “proper quality,” especially if they did business with them earlier? No.
    Can this company X f**k up some products? Yes.
    Is it the store’s fault? No.
    Should the store give a refund? Yes.
    Should it pull the product if it is a mass problem (ie. not specific to a single unit). Yes.
    Should the store apologize to its pissed clients? Probably.

    Did Steam do all these things – they did. So what is your guys’ problem?

    Mistakes are always being made (we have a saying in my country – only one who does nothing makes no mistakes) it is how you correct them and apologize for them that shows you if you care about other people – in this case customers.

  47. Zinthros says:

    Quick! Everyone feel sorry for the creative geniuses who brought us Big Rigs and War Inc!

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