Zombies have always made for pretty popular horror movies and games – and even a few comedies. There was Will Smith’s I Am Zombie, Shaun of the Dead with Simon Pegg and 28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle, to name but a few films.
And the genre has proved equally popular with gamers. Just this year, there’s been The Walking Dead by Telltale Games, in which you play as an escaped convict in zombie-occupied Atlanta, and ZombieU for the new WiiU.
But, it seems the latest cannibalistic Zombie game has failed to prove a hit with gamers.
Online gaming platform Steam has even gone so far as to remove The War Z from its service after a raft of complaints from users.
In its promotional material, developer Hammerpoint says: “The War Z is the world’s first survival mmo Zombie Game. You may have played Zombie Games before – now it’s time to live one.”
But many of those who downloaded the game say it failed to live up to its promise. The War Z was promoted as a huge multi-player game, challenging players to survive in lots of different zombie-infested environments and allowing up to 100 players to join each server, drawing up friends lists and improving characters.
The buzz surrounding the game meant when it went on sale, it soared to the top of the best seller list on Steam. But, soon complaints started to flood in via online forums and social media sites.
Gamers said The War Z lacked promised features and they were unhappy about an update which meant if your character was killed you had to wait four hours, rather than one, to be re-spawned so you could continue playing. The only way round that was to pay using an in-game currency that you had to buy will real money.
The furore has led to Steam removing the game from its site until niggles can be sorted out.
Valve, which operates Steam, described the decision to put The War Z on sale as a “mistake” and offered full refunds for anyone who wanted their money back.
Steam is now planning to put The War Z back on sale once “we have time to work with the developer and have confidence in a new build.”
Hammerpoint said the version of The War Z that had been available on Steam was a “foundation release” which would be regularly updated as development work was completed. Promised features, including more virtual environments, private servers and skills are scheduled to be added within the next few months.
The game’s producer Sergey Titov said he understand Valve’s decision to remove the game from Steam. “We think this is the best way to serve their customers and we respect their decision,” he said. “We’ve been publicly available since October 15. Over that time, I think we (the developers) got used to and took for granted that players knew what state the game was in and how it was a constantly evolving project, with new features being added on an ongoing basis.”
The game is still available on Hammerpoint’s own website.