Over the past year or two I've read a couple of books and watched a couple of films that personally I think would make epic video games.
The WarZ Now Forces Players To Accept Their Terms Of Service Which Disallows Refunds With New Patch
Update: The WarZ has been removed from Steam. Read more here: The WarZ Now Removes From Steam.
It seems these days are just filled with more and more news emanating from The WarZ, Hammerpoint Interactive, and Op Productions. Just a few weeks ago we had an ex-mod from their forums blast them and then come out saying he was lying. Then yesterday we had their Steam page filled up with apparent lies that made the gaming community go wild. Today? Well, nothing too big. Just a new patch increased respawn times to 4 hours, allowing you to spend in-game currency (which you have to buy with real money) to respawn quicker, oh, and now you have to accept the TOS before you play the game.
Accepting Terms of Service before playing an online game is normal. This happens in almost every MMO after a new patch. Things change and the company needs to ensure you’re alright with it and accept it. If not, you can’t play the game. After all, if you don’t agree with the terms of which to play the game, then you shouldn’t play the game. It should be as simple as that.
However, if you look closely at The WarZ’s Terms of Service, you will see sections that not only say that Hammerpoint and Op Productions can disable your account at any time for any reason without notifying you, but you will also see a section that completely disallows you from getting a refund.
Apparently you can deny the TOS, the client will close and then you can just open the game up again and play without ever accepting the TOS. While I expect that to be patched and blocked, that isn’t a great way to support yourself when asking for a refund. Just by installing and playing a game, the product’s TOS can be enforced upon you as if you did accept it.
This isn’t everything, though. After the controversy of yesterday’s Steam Page information, the game’s Steam Community hub begun banning people for talking about refunds, quitting the game, and generally just talking about the game page’s claims on their original description and even the updated one. They even claim that players “misread” the description on the steam page.
I’d like to copy and paste a section from GameSpy’s talk with game creator Sergey Titov that was posted yesterday:
Sergey Titov: Let’s be frank: when you read “up to 100 players” — what does it mean to you personally? I mean, for me it doesn’t mean that I will play with 99 other players. Really And yes game supports 100 players — heck, it supports actually over 400 players per server as of today. Do we have servers launched with this number of slots? No we don’t, because this is not what our players WANT.
GameSpy: Yes, frankly, it absolutely does mean that the game will support 100 players. Anything less is a false claim. You could just as easily claim your game will support up to a million players, and then say “Well, 50 is between one and a million.” It would be absolutely fine for you to tune your game to what your players have told you that they want. What is not fine is for you to tell potential buyers that they will be able to do things in your game that they simply cannot do as it exists today. What you’ve done is the same as telling someone that the car you’re selling can go 100mph, when in fact it can only go 50mph.
Sergey Titov: And we’ve corrected text on Steam. As I’ve said — it was done less than 18 hours after we’ve started selling game. After that — after text was changed — over 7 hours passed.
GameSpy: Steam still says — I’m looking at it right now — “Up to 100 players per game server.” That is a false claim.
Sergey Titov: Let me ask you — what YOU think we should put there, since we do not know what number of slots will be on official servers tomorrow — 20,30, 50, 70 or 100?
GameSpy: I think you should put the minimum you can deliver. If you deliver more, that’s a bonus that no one can claim they were misled about. If you deliver less, you have failed to deliver on a promise.
Sergey Titov: Okay good point — so you think that if we’ll have server with 100 players up and running it means we’ve delivered even if everybody will hate it ?
GameSpy: If you believe everyone will hate it with 100 players, it is totally reasonable for you to turn down the maximum number of players. It is not reasonable for you to tell me I can play with 100 players and then only allow me to play with 50 players. Who is responsible for updating the Steam page text? Hammerpoint or Valve?
PR Rep: They do the actual updates based on info we send.
I mentioned above that this new patch also increased respawn timers to 4 hours but allows you to spend in-game currency to make it quicker. The in-game currency is bought with real money. There is also an in-game store that allows you to buy food, medicine, ammo, etc. Now you can spend these “gold coins” to respawn quicker.
On the game’s official site there is an FAQ page and one of the topics brought up there talks about Pay-To-Win. Here is the topic and answer:
I want PAY FOR WIN! I have lots of money to spend!
Sorry pal, but this is the wrong game. Like in a real-world, post apocalyptic scenario, your money will mean much less than your natural survival skills, training and wits.
Hammerpoint is on damage control right now and leaning on their players who actually play and like the game. Sergey has even asked players to vote on Metacritic and reverse the sub-par scoring that The WarZ has.
The WarZ has a lot on its plate right now and with a large portion of the gaming community either upset with the recent stories or untrusting of the game and company due to the reports, Hammerpoint will be busy for awhile with PR. Perhaps someone should take the keyboard and mic away from Mr. Titov for awhile. He isn’t helping.
As always, we’ll update when the story gains new information.
Everyone reading this should head over to the site linked below, and have a look through the comments. The petition has been going on for 5 days, and generally shows the... "opinions" if I dare say, of the playerbase.