Valve removes The War Z from Steam, offers refunds

The War Z

When Hammerpoint Interactive first announced The War Z, the open-world zombie survival game was largely seen as a corporate attempt to ape the success of DayZ, a massively popular free modification for ArmA2 (which is currently being retooled for retail release). Still, despite this cynical portrait of the game’s creation, fans of ravenous undead hordes were willing to give the title a shot. You can never have too many zombie games, right?

Unfortunately, when it debuted on Valve Software’s ubiquitous downloadable software distribution service Steam, the game was met with a chorus of protestation. Fans claimed that Hammerpoint Interactive had balatantly lied about a number of the game’s features, including the size of the game world, skills available within the game and the availability of private servers. The game’s vocal detractors claimed that the game was in an obviously unfinished state, and that the developer had been lying to everyone by stating that it was actively ready for retail release.

In turn, the developers shot back by stating that “93 percent” of its customers like the game — though it offered no real evidence to back its claims. “As soon as we’ve announced game — we’ve received our share of hate from some of the DayZ fans accusing us of just ripping off DayZ concept to make a quick money,” Hammerpoint head Sergey Titov told Kotaku. “While over time, especially after game have been launched publicly players been able to see that those two designs are pretty different, there’re still DayZ fanboys out there who just can’t accept fact that similar concept doesn’t mean being copycat… Interesting fact – only around 30% of our player base we have right now actually played DayZ. And 15% of our players never heard of DayZ before they started playing The War Z. This confirms that we’ve been able to attract new players to the survival/zombie war genre of the game.”

While we’re sure that blaming fans of a competing, preceding product seemed like a good idea at the time, Titov is likely now wishing this entire issue would simply go away. As of this morning Valve Software removed the $15 The War Z from Steam. When questioned about the decision, the company offered apologies to all users who felt betrayed by Hammerpoint.

“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,” Valve told Kotaku. “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.” Further, Valve wishes to make amends and is now offering refunds via the Steam support page to any players who purchased The War Z and feel that it hasn’t lived up to the expectations created by Hammerpoint’s pre-release claims.

Given that the official website for The War Z describes the title as “the best Zombie Game you will ever play,” it’s sad to see it miss the mark by such a huge margin. Then again, it does go a long way in supporting the theory that The War Z was created as a slap-dash effort to capitalize on the success of DayZ. Of course, Sergey Titov would likely argue that point, but in the end his company’s reputation has been tarnished by these events and it seems unlikely that the satisfied 93 percent of customers he cited will be able to shift public opinion of the game back toward the positive end of the spectrum.


‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Turf Wars’ sees Spidey confront the villainous Hammerhead

The second part of Marvel's Spider-Man's The City That Never Sleeps DLC swings into action on November 20. Titled Turf Wars, the new storyline is focused on Hammerhead, who is waging war across New York City.

Want to game on your Chromebook? Here's where to start

Chromebooks aren't great for gaming, but there are a few titles that most machines can run. There's a surprisingly diverse crowd that includes role-playing games, action side-scrollers, and puzzlers.

The best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…
Product Review

‘Let’s Go Pikachu’ and ‘Let’s Go Eevee’ feel like true ‘Pokémon Go’ RPGs

Pokémon: Let’s Go’s simplified reimagining of Pokémon Yellow has a great balance of old and new mechanics. It has a streamlined approach that makes it easy to get into, but depth remains for longtime fans.

Dominate in multiplayer with a few of our favorite 'Battlefield 5' weapons

Here are some of the best weapons you can use to get the upper hand in Battlefield 5's multiplayer, including assault rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, and anti-tank tools.

How to become a master assassin and perfect the art of execution in 'Hitman 2'

'Hitman 2' introduces new and improved story missions with a scale that can feel overwhelming if you're not prepared. Learn everything you need to know to obtain a high score while remaining unnoticed.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…

The best Gamestop Black Friday deals in 2018

Gamestop is hosting one heck of a Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion period, highlighted by excellent deals on games, gaming consoles, and gaming accessories. We combed through everything and have all the best Gamestop Black Friday…

The best cheap-but-awesome PlayStation 4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

Playing ‘Battlefield V’ on an $800 Nvidia card is stunning. And disappointing

‘Battlefield V’ is the first game to use Nvidia’s ray tracing support, now available with the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards. The feature can, in an ideal scenario, make the game look better, but the performance hit may not be…