I'm going to post two articles below.
War Z update charging players for instant respawn, Valve investigating policy
The War Z has seen a controversial launch on Steam, with many listed features on the game's product descriptor being unavailable at release. It gets worse however, as respawning in the game used to take anywhere up to 60 minutes. Following an update patch it now takes up to four hours - unless you pay real money. Valve is now investigating the studio's policy.
Kotaku reports that while The War Z has rocketed up to the top of the Steam best seller charts, the respawn microtransaction issue has seen developer Hammerpoint Games come under fire on Reddit.
Just to reiterate the baffling facts here: if you die in The War Z it can take up to 60 minutes before you respawn. Now, after this morning's update that can take up to four hours unless you pay an instant respawn fee of 50GC (gold coins), which equates to about 50GC, or $0.40.
It's chump change we're sure you'll agree, but considering that you can only buy GC points in blocks of $5, it's a feature that will add up significantly over time. What's next? Charging people per the bullet? Worse still, The War Z isn't free-to-play. It's costs $15 at base price.
Eurogamer adds that Valve has apologised to its customers and is now investigating Hammerpoint's policy.
Over on The War Z's Steam forum, Valve's Al Farnsworth responded to the issue after the forum become flooded with complaints on the matter, and replied, "We take these complaints seriously and are investigating the issue.
"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. All that makes moderation a very difficult task.
"If you have concerns or criticisms about the game, you are free to post those in this forum. However, please keep your posts on-topic and about the game. There's no reason to personally insult other posters, the developers, or the moderators. Please keep the discussion rules and guidelines in mind when posting."
Forum user "Kewk" has come under fire for banning forum users who aim criticism at The War Z, suggesting that damage control is in effect.
Please chip in with your thoughts on this issue. I'm very keen to hear what you, the readers think about this.
War Z Developer on Steam Cluster[mute]: You Misread The Description.
The roll out of zombie shooter The War Z is one hot mess. Yesterday, gamers on Reddit were pissed about the game's misleading description on Steam. And now, the game's maker, Hammerpoint Interactive, is saying it wasn't the description's fault. Oh, no, it was yours.
"I'm sure that a few players may be upset, but I can assure you that based on what we're seeing, the number of people who post bad comments are a small percentage of people who actually bought the game," Hammerpoint Interactive's Sergey Titov told GameSpy, echoing what he also told Kotaku.
However, Titov went one step further by saying, "I'm sure there'll be people who will look into small details and will say `no I was mislead' where in fact they imagined something to themselves without checking details first."
"I think there's a difference between false claims and perception of the text. There's no such thing as 'fully released' for online game. As far as I'm concerned The War Z is in a stage when we're ready to stop calling it Beta. This is a basic version-bones to which we're going to add more and more 'meat'-features and content in the coming months and hopefully years."
As the Reddit screengrabs show, the text and those discrepancies don't appear imagined:
Hammerpoint can add all the meat it wants, but many gamers feel like they've gotten a false bill of sale. The outrage online has been so vociferous that the Steam description was updated:
On the game's forums, Titov issued this apology (it's his second; here's the first):
As you all know we launched the game on Steam yesterday. Okay-we're number one top grossing game on Steam right now-thank you guys for your support.
At the same time it was clear that there were a number of customers that felt that information about the game was presented in a way that could have allowed for multiple interpretations.
We've taken steps to correct this and format information presented on our Steam Store page in a way so it provides more clear information about game features that are present in the Foundation Release and what to expect in the coming weeks.
We also want to extend our apologies to all players who misread infromation [SIC] about game features.
At the end of the day our goal is to serve our players as best as we can, and we love when you guys steer us into the right way of doing it !
This bit deserves a reply: "We also want to extend our apologies to all players who misread infromation [SIC] about game features." It's not us, it's you.
On the game's forums, some are accepting the studio's apologies, thanking the developers. Others are simply not having it. DeadlySwordz writes, "So you waited till a bunch of people bought your game and made some money first before addressing this? Wow. Good thing I didn't buy and never will." Kingkilla15425 added," It wasn't a misrepresentation, it was a blatant lie. But good job fixing it anyways."
"No one misread anything," writes Snedsdawg. "The information you posted was false, it's as simple as that. Don't try to pin this on us, it was your error, not ours."
Besides launching suspicious microtransactions, Hammerpoint is directing unhappy customers to Steam for a refund. You know, those unhappy customers that supposedly misread the original Steam description and got bad infromation.