In the wake of its release on Steam, players took issue with discrepancies between features advertised on The War Z’s Steam page and the actual experience. The debate quickly escalated into a heated back and forth between players and the developers, but after a rash of player bannings, and a pseudo-apology from the developers. Now the game is no longer listed for sale on Steam.
Valve’s official response to inquiries into the removal has cited the “premature issuing” of the game for sale on Steam. They stress that the removal is intended to be temporary, and that those who have already purchased the game may continue to play it or, if they are dissatisfied, contact Steam support to begin the refund process.
A battery of mishandled factors appear to have contributed to this situation, but the one that stands out as the final straw was the sudden appearance of questionable microtransactions in the game. The War Z launched with a one-hour real-time delay on respawning a character after they had been killed, but soon after release, this wait was quadrupled. Players were then given the option to cut their respawn time short by paying real money.
Sergey Titov, the man behind the game (and the lead programmer on Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing, one of the worst releases of all time) asserts that the issue has nothing to do with player outcry, and is entirely related to the Store page’s description.