The War Z Executive Producer Responds to Steam Fiasco
The War Z’s Steam launch was a fiasco, releasing to an uproar from enraged customers who felt cheated out of their money. Allegedly, The War Z defrauded customers by lying about key features that weren’t in the game, and was later removed from Steam once Valve became aware of the facts.
Speaking with PC Gamer, executive producer Sergey Titov weighed in on what happened, saying that he agreed with Valve’s decision to temporarily unpublish the game from Steam. He said:
“Yes, we think this is the best way to serve their customers and we respect their decision. As you know we’ve been publicly available since October 15. Over that time I think we (the developers) got used to and took it for granted that players knew what state the game was in and how it was a constantly evolving project, with new features being added on and ongoing basis. Clearly the release on Steam introduced the game to players who never followed War Z and we made the mistake of not communicating effectively to the Steam community.”
Titov spoke of a “major disconnect between our development team and marketing team” due to the pre-holiday crunch time that resulted in “some of the “coming soon” features being listed as current features on the Steam sales page.” He listed off the features:
“1. Servers being able to support up to 100 players—This is actually true, but at the moment we launched the servers were capped at 50 as a result of an in-game survey we had conducted. That information had not been communicated properly to our marketing team that was handling the Steam integration. Currently the servers support both 100 players and 50 players.
“2. Map Size—We have always stated that our maps would range from 100—400km squared and that we would launch with one map “Colorado,” and then follow up with additional maps in the first quarter of 2013. Nothing has changed, however I believe the wording on the Steam page could have been interpreted as there currently being more than one game world available.
“3. Server Rental/Strongholds and Skill Tree—Again, this was not communicated correctly to the marketing team and once it was realized it was corrected.”
Despite this, The War Z was Steam’s top-seller for a brief period. Titov couldn’t outright say how many copies sold, but he did reveal that the game has 700,000 registred players, with close to 180,000 players playing daily.