Score one for buyer’s remorse. Kotaku is reporting that Hammerpoint Interactive’s “The War Z” has been yanked from Steam’s store after an influx of consumer complaints that the game didn’t measure up to being what it was advertised to be. I’ve got to say, this one actually comes in the nick of time, since I was right on the cusp of actually picking this title up. Those features looked really promising! It looks like I’ll be having to wait on this one, given Valve’s statement on the matter:
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.
I have to say – the fact that Valve responded to a consumer outcry this quickly and thoroughly is sure to increase the already high levels of respect gamers have for the company. Really, a mass-refund option on a digitally distributed title? That’s not the most common move, but it’s bound to make everyone who feels burned by this title a little happier. Everyone else can just be more confident in how Valve runs their business.
Hammerpoint Interactive, however, is now under the gun. The controversy was already making them look bad. Having their game yanked out of Steam’s store was worse, but I imagine someone could have spun that as a big misunderstanding. But when Valve is out and out offering refunds to anyone who already bought the game through their service, that amounts to massive publicity letting everyone know that the game is truly terrible as it stands. With that ominous reference to Valve pledging to ‘work with the developer’ until the game is sale-worthy, it remains to be seen if the guys at Hammerpoint can actually produce something worth purchasing. Here’s hoping they can pull it off – after all, how often is it that we see a zombie themed game come out nowadays?