By now, you’ve probably heard of the fiasco surrounding War Z. Not to be confused with the Day-Z mod, which is actually a pretty good game, War Z is a rip-off of it and made itself famous by falsely advertising itself on top of that, tearing apart their customers, and lying straight through their teeth. War Z had everything that could go wrong, go wrong, and it’s welcome proof that gamers still have standards to stick to when it comes to what they purchase. Hammerpoint Interactive made all kinds of mistakes with their campaign—and to add to their troubles—they just kicked their customers under the bus. This is what Hammerpoint did wrong, and why, as gamers, we can’t let developers get away with this. Here is how Hammerpoint Interactive can redeem itself.
False advertisement is one of the biggest offenders on their list of crimes. They claimed that War Z has a ‘huge persistent world’ with ‘100 to 400 square kilometers’ per level. The largest area has 75 square kilometers, max. They advertise hundreds of servers, both public and private, that you can rent or create. The game has no private servers whatsoever. It advertises dozens of available skills, but again, there are no skills in the game at all. Hammerpoint threw their customers under the bus by saying that the advertisements were misread, but let’s be clear: even Steam agrees that the company was falsely advertising, and took the game off of its sales listing.
However, that’s not the worst thing they did. Steam has also launched an investigation into forum censorship after allegations that the Hammerpoint Interactive mods banned users who were critical of the missing features or the shoddy craftsmanship of the game, along with deleting the messages or even changing them to be positive posts about the game. This shows that the company is actively taking advantage of their users and trying to contain their crimes to the silent users of the steam forums. This censorship extends to their off-site forums, so don’t even try posting there—no moderator will help you if you get banned. Twisting the words of customers is absolutely abhorrent and shows that the company is only interested in keeping the wad of cash it gained from tricking others.
Hammerpoint Interactive is made up of people, not money, and if it wants to save face, we need to see and hear from those people and understand what went wrong. We don’t need a bad apology that blames the readers for something that was clearly Hammerpoint’s doing. We don’t need their customer service disconnecting the minute a refund is announced, no matter how legitimate that refund might be. We expect a bit of integrity from gaming companies, and the low opinion of EA shows that. With any luck, Steam will ban the game from its stores entirely until a proper apology is issued, along with a reason why this controversy started, why they were comfortable twisting their customers’ words and throwing them under the bus, and, of course, a game that lives up to the expectations that Hammerpoint Interactive set up for itself.