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.
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.