War Z exec producer apologizes for “arrogant” response to issues

Titov tackles the problems with The War Z in an open letter

War Z

In an open letter on the official The War Z forums, executive producer Sergey Titov apologized for his “arrogant” responses to issues surrounding the game.

“I need to admit that we failed to effectively communicate some of our plans and actions to both our existing players and to our new prospective players. This failure to communicate resulted in some very negative feedback from some members of our community, but while it might be easy to label them as “haters” or some other dismissive term, in all honesty this is my fault. I became arrogant and blinded by the early success and quick growth of The War Z, our increasing number of players, numbers we were getting from surveys, etc., and I chose not to notice the concerns and questions raised by these members of the game community as well as others,” wrote Titov.

“This failure is entirely on my shoulders and if anything I owe thanks to that vocal minority and admit that I should have paid attention sooner. At the end my arrogance led us to the moment, when all those small things finally caught up and created a “perfect storm” that affected all of our community members. For that I’m truly sorry and apologize to all of our community as well as the larger PC gaming community that is not yet playing The War Z.”

Titov’s letter outlines planned fixes for community management and moderation, with an expanded community management team and additional forum moderators. He also explained that Hammerpoint Interactive will be taking “a more prominent role in publishing/game operating process” with new hires experienced in operating online games.

The game’s continued delisting on Steam and the suspension of The War Z trademark were not mentioned in the open letter. The full open letter can be found here.

The War Z trademark suspended

The controversial game can’t use its original name

The War Z

The game pulled from Steam last week, The War Z, has had its trademark suspended by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The War Z trademark suspension was handed down on November 15, prior to the game’s December 17 release on Steam. The USPTO say the trademark is too close to applications filed by Paramount Pictures relating to World War Z, the novel and upcoming film.

In July of 2012, Paramount filed trademark applications 85673422 and 85673431. Application 85673422 is for World War Z “downloadable electronic game programs”, “electronic game software for handheld electronic devices”, and “video game cartridges and discs”. Application 85673431 mentions “providing online electronic games” related to World War Z.

The application for Hammerpoint’s game was filed only ten days after Paramount’s, but Paramount has held trademarks for other World War Z-related merchandise since August 2011.

The War Z pulled from Steam

The controversial title can no longer be purchased on Valve’s store

The War Z pulled from Steam

Hammerpoint Interactive’s zombie-centric The War Z has been pulled from Valve’s Steam store. The game still retains a page in Steam’s catalog, but there is no longer a way to purchase the title.

The War Z was launched on Monday, but received significant backlash from purchasers who accused the game of promising certain features and then not delivering. The game’s original Steam profile mentioned two gameplay modes, selectable skills, multiple worlds between 100 to 400 square kilometers, and the ability to run private servers. Instead, the game only has one gameplay mode, no skills, a single map of around 72 square km, and no option for private servers.

“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,” said Valve in a statement.

featuresThe original feature list (Via GameSpy)

The War Z executive producer Sergey Titov took to the game’s official forums to explain the developer’s side of the situation.

“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,” wrote Titov.

“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 information about game features.”

In an interview with GameSpy, Titov also explained that those missing features were planned for 2012-2013 content updates. He stood by his forum statement: certain purchasers misread the game’s features and this embellished their expectations.

“Our Steam store description contained information about what game features [were] planned for 2012-early 2013 content updates,” Titov told GameSpy. “Online games are [a] living breathing game service. This is not a boxed product that you buy one time. It’s evolving product that will have more and more features and content coming it. This is what The War Z is.”

“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.”

There’s been no word on when The War Z will return to Steam.