WarZ, a game that’s had no less than it’s fair share of drama, is now on Steam. The fact that Steam allows beta games shouldn’t deter you from purchasing anything from the store, after all there have been some really good beta games (Minecraft) – but the fact that the game is advertised as a finished game can be misleading to some. For instance the page lists “Each world is 100 to 400 square kilometers” when in fact there’s only one map currently and it’s 75 square kilometers. It claims you can “gain experience points and spend it to learn dozen of available skills” when in fact you can’t do this yet. “Up to 100 Players per Game Server” and the cap was previously at 70 players and has been bumped down to 50 players per server because 70 was too many for the map.
Another disconcerting thing is the confusion many people may have about the relation of WarZ to DayZ, another zombie shooting game. DayZ was original a mod for Arma 2 and is going to be released as it’s own standalone game due to it’s massive popularity. People are posting on the forums asking if WarZ was the DayZ standalone and why they changed the name. It’s their own fault for being uninformed – but if there are already people asking in the Steam forums, how many people have purchased the game under the assumption that this was the same thing as DayZ?
This isn’t the first time Steam has released a game in an unfinished state on their store. Towns released about a month ago in it’s Alpha state to much frustration of people who purchased the game thinking it was a completed game – when tasks that were completed wouldn’t mark as completed, it lacked any sort of guide or instructions, bugs were aplenty, etc.
If Steam is going to continue to allow games that are in an unfinished Alpha or Beta stage in their development, they need to be able to mark them as such in their store so people don’t buy them under false pretenses and then get frustrated when the game doesn’t have what it claims to have or live up to the community’s expectations of a polished game. If they don’t, there are going to be people who get burned enough times that they refuse to buy from Steam or get turned off of the whole “indie” gaming community altogether.
Update: War Z has been pulled from Steam. Although the product page is still there, the game is no longer purchasable. If you wish to continue playing the game through Steam you may, but you can request a refund for your purchases. This comes on the heels of massive amounts of banning that the moderators of the War Z Steam Forums did on anyone who said anything negative about the game. Valve has been resolving the bans and has taken back control of the forum.
“From time to time a mistake can be made and one was made by prematurely issuing a copy of The 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: https://support.steampowered.com/newticket.php”
Shortly after the barrage of complaints that the game didn’t live up to it’s product page’s promises, the page was updated with a large portion of the “features” removed. War Z Steam forum moderator Kewk then apparently started banning anyone who criticized the game. Valve’s Al Farnsworth stated “There has been a lot of traffic in this forum – a new topic every minute for the last day and a half, with thousands of replies,” he said. “All that makes moderation a very difficult task.”
If you purchased the game and want a refund, click on the link above or submit a support ticket in Steam. Juicy!