Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The War Z Returns to Steam, False Advertising Continues

In another questionable move by a major figurehead within the video game industry, Valve has permitted the return of The War Z to Steam. Having been taken down for outright lying to customers, being obviously unfinished, the developers outright attempting to blackmail those requesting refunds into silence and even a terms of service directly copied and pasted from League of Legends, the game was regarded as a total failure. Its return to Steam after such controversy is a surprising move but it does bring with it a number of changes. Unfortunately many critical problems remain on the page alone.

Positive changes are that many outright lies or stolen elements on the Steam store page have now been corrected.  The most notable of these immediately is the change of banner to something which actually uses images which are not stolen, somewhat edited, artwork from the Walking Dead.
Beyond that much of the description listing the key features of the game and what can be found within it have now been changed, with fewer lies noticeable within the text. Here is a quick comparison between the old and new descriptions to the game (please click to enlarge):

Original Steam Page Description –

Current Steam Page Description –

You may notice a large number of omissions to what was previously present in the description. With no mention of “100 to 400 square kilometre” worlds or “hundreds of serves to play on […] You can rent or create public or private servers allocating spots for friends or clans”, neither of which were even remotely accurate statements.

There has also been the inclusion of “non-linear” into the description. Presumably to make it clear there is no story nor questing available in the game itself. Some strange additions also include listing “Group with other players to increase your chances of survival” despite it not being a feature or mechanic within the game and very vague statements such as the claim it has a “huge variation” of guns and melee weapons. With no exact number or estimated limit listed.

Most concerning however is that there is no warning of the game’s currently buggy and obviously unfinished state. With no real comment upon its problems or on-going issues with AI, graphics or the many complaints made of the title when it was first brought onto Steam. Furthermore, the same screenshots remain, which are both graphically superior to what was in the game itself and are not in-game screenshots from the game at all. They were proven false after disgruntled customers closely inspected and analysed their content.

With this lack of honesty and remaining false advertisement in the description, it remains concerning that such a title could be allowed onto Steam not once but twice. The second time supposedly after Valve had time to worth with Hammerpoint Interactive to improve upon the game.

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