The War Z Pulled From Steam!

Kotaku have just reported that Hammerpoint Interactive’s controversial zombie survival MMO The War Z has now been pulled from Steam, with Valve calling the release “a mistake”.  The product page remains in place, though the game can no longer be purchased.

This follows widespread reports of misleading claims about the game content, forum censorship and unfair bans, and the War Z development team’s rude and condescending remarks about paying customers.  Our round-up of the War Z problems can be found over here.

Those who now wish to seek a refund through Steam can now do so by creating a ticket.

Amazon Refunds on Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3’s ending has apparently disappointed so many people that Amazon have apparently decided to offer full refunds on the game.. gamers have been reporting that they’ve had refunds on their games, at least.  I think this is the start of a slippery slope.

Now.. I’ve not seen this ending yet.  I understand that it isn’t quite what people expected, and that people are disappointed.  Mass Effect 3 is, however, not broken, and people should not be expecting a refund because they didn’t like how the story turned out.  It’s pathetic. 

If you played the game through to the end, you’ve had what you paid for.  What’s next?  Demanding refunds because you didn’t like the ending of a film?  A book?  Can I order a three-course meal at a restaurant, but then complain that I didn’t like the sauce on my dessert, and so refuse to pay for any of the meal?

Our right to a refund is supposed to be there to protect us from shoddy goods and services, not to allow ridiculously self-entitled people to use products and then end up not paying for them by claiming they were dissatisfied.  It isn’t there to allow people to cheat their way out of paying for things.

If Amazon are offering a full refund on ME3 now, they are just encouraging people to buy the game, play it through, and then claim they didn’t like it and ask for their money back.  If you claim a refund for a game you have played all the way through to the end, you are worse than a pirate, because not only are you a “lost sale”, you are costing people money in handling the order in the first place; shipping, dealing with your emails and refunding you.  You would be less of a burden on the gaming industry if you just downloaded it, played it and deleted it.

And what does this mean for writers?  Write the ending that fans want, or risk the potential that they can cheat you out of your pay?

If writers suddenly have to start making the ending the fans want, then we all lose.  There’ll be no more creativity; only the same tired storylines that have ‘proven’ themselves satisfactory in the past.  Or maybe no story at all.  Or we’ll have fan-fiction.. and well.. that doesn’t have a great reputation for quality, does it?