The War Z experienced a rapid rise when it was released this month on Steam. Just as quickly as the game sold, the negative press from players and media quickly tarnished the game and its developer Hammerpoint Interactive. Misleading feature lists and arrogant attitudes on behalf of Hammerpoint caused many to consider The War Z to be a cash grab and/or a scam. We noted the rather simple ways Hammerpoint could have dealt with with the controversy it created, and Hammerpoint has addressed its issues in an open letter to fans written by executive producer Sergey Titov.
Titov’s attitude in the letter is vastly different than what we’ve seen in the past. Instead of accusing players of misreading information about The War Z, Titov shouldered the blame entirely. In the excerpt below, Titov uses words such as “arrogant” and “blinded” to describe Hammerpoint’s actions.
“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. 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.”
I do not take this situation lightly, and last week events were especially humbling for me. I’ve experienced a range of emotions, most of which centered on regret for not having addressed some of the issues differently than we did, but we can’t change the past. The only thing we can do is to be sure that we won’t repeat the same mistakes in the future. I have realized that as the leader of this ship, I missed all early warnings that were saying, Your community is not as happy as you think they are, you need to alter course.” I was too focused on how great we are and how a small independent team got their first game to over 700,000 users in a two-month period. Though that is something to be very proud of, allowing that to overshadow the existing community and their satisfaction was poor judgment.”
Moving forward, Hammerpoint is going to change how it interacts with its community. It will focus less on banning forum members, and start productively communicating with them on the official forum and social networks. Additional forum moderators will be added, but their main purpose won’t be to police the community. There is also a proposed plan to send 10 players to Hammerpoint’s studio to play The War Z and share feedback with the developers.
Time will tell if this humbling gesture will be enough to win back players who felt cheated with The War Z. Unfortunately, the damage may be too severe to repair.
Source [The War Z Forums]