Video Games

BanZ: The WARZ’s Hilariously Fascist New Forums Rules

When Hammerpoint Interactive’s THE WARZ officially appeared on Steam in mid-December, there were so many people bought the game that it crashed Steam servers. It set them on fire. Gary Newell, Gabe’s firefighter brother, bravely smothered the flames with unpublished copies of HALF LIFE 3. The reviews were glowing, ecstatic, so much so that Metacritic had to roll out a 1000% aggregate score just to accurate reflect the glory. Sales numbers bounced us out of the recession. There was joy in America again. I admit it, I cried.

Oh wait. I mean… uh… it was pulled from Steam with a unceremonious yank in response to a tidal wave of complaints that it was an unfinished game, the Steam game description page blatantly lied to people about features that weren’t implemented yet, and they were brazenly refusing refunds to players who felt stiffed.

And they also went on a Great Purge by banning forum members complaining to the company about said issues. Not all press is good press. Hammerpoint didn’t even stop with their own forums, either.

 

warz caption2
Typical player experience. Less fun, though.

 

There is a lurid pulp novel’s worth of material about this game’s sordid history. All it needs is a Sergey Titov and Ukrainian prostitute murder-suicide to wrap it all up with a bow. THE WARZ is a textbook example of how NOT to handle ripping off a popular concept and rush out a game for a quick buck. What you’re supposed to do is not promise anything. Just make your shitty game, slap on a quick logo, and release it quietly to modest sales figures. We know your game is a shameless cash-in on DAYZ. We know this. Even the game title is freakin’ derivative.

If there’s one thing the internet will not abide, it’s lying to us about video games. We’ll put up with warrant-less wiretapping, indefinite detention, drone attacks, a paralyzed Congress perpetually putting on the verge of economic collapse, but DO NOT LIE TO US ABOUT A VIDEO GAME. *AHEM* *COUGH* *GEARBOX* *COUGH*. The unholy demons of hell and 4Chan will arise to smite you. Your company will have a blackened smear across it face for time immemorial. And if you are caught in a lie *COUGH* *ADJUSTS TIE* *PRESS RELEASE* *COUGH*, there are more graceful ways to handle it.

 

Have some pe-rendered booty, you ingrates.
“Have some pre-rendered, non-game engine booty, you ingrates!”

 

Hammerpoint Interactive, the dark lords behind this abomination, have decided on a scorched Earth policy, trying to quell all criticism on their forums by having particularly odd forum rules. In a recent press release on Feb 26, 2013, forum moderators announced that they were “changing some rules” about the posting policies, but in actuality, they’re attempting to squash all legitimate criticism about the game on their official forums once and for all with some very, well, specific rules. Coming less than two months after an embarrassingly smarmy corporate apology, Executive Producer Titov throws the previous moderators under the bus while simultaneously accepting blame for the entire fiasco. This is not a company that lives on, you know, Earth, so doublethink comes naturally to their reptilian brains.

[divider]

The Bizarre New Forum Rules

The Official Forum Rules have some standard, boilerplate content about no bots, no hate speech, no porn, blah blah blah. You’ve seen this a billion times. But then there’s this:

[divider]

We Are Watching You

GM / Mod Instructions – Users are expected to comply with requests from Moderators, Admins and Developers on the forums. Failure to comply with a Mod, Admin or Dev request may result in a temporary suspension of user forum privileges.

Seems innocuous. “This is our private web space, we own it. Do as we say or else.” You know, a please would be nice considering the Internet is about to burn your company to the ground.

Slander – Do not post blatant slander for the sole purpose to attack a Forum Member, Clan, Group, Moderator, Developer, Admin or the game itself. 

“Slander” on the web? GTFO. NO WAY. Funny how Hammerpoint has taken a liberal interpretation of the term “slander” and often applied it to “fair and genuine criticism of suspected fraud”.

Misinformation – User posts containing false information about the game or its staff will be deleted. Users who conduct propaganda campaigns against the client, our games, our employees or our community will be banned from the forums.
(emphasis mine)

Did they actually use the word propaganda? Propaganda?! Hey, a word, Hammerpoint. Good gaming journalism and exposure of misleading and near-criminal lies about your shoddy product isn’t propaganda, it’s just news. Sorry to burst your bubble on this! Better luck on your next game, GREY PLATEAU, where you play as Gorden Frohman, an intrepid accountant who must fight headherpes and HVAC soldiers.

Translation: IS GOOD GAME. SPEAK LIES AND TO THE GULAG WITH YOU.
Translation: IS GOOD GAME. YES. SHUT UP FACE!

[divider]

On Refunds

Refund requests are not to be posted on the forums. Any posts found regarding refund requests will be locked and you will be PM?d links to the sites that can assist you with the process.

Refund requests must be made through the payment method you used when purchasing The WarZ.

Xsolla Support: https://support.xsolla.com/
Paypal Support: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/helpcenter/home/
Steam Support: https://support.steampowered.com/ 

The fact that you have to post an entire FORUM section about how people can get their money back is telling me a narrative you really don’t want me to hear. This section is mostly informed by the fact scores of people complained about Hammerpoint’s defrauding of customers.

[divider]

On Trades

Presented to you, America:

I guess you get banned from your own game then, right? AMIRITE, LADIES?! The irony is so thick you could use it as sunblock. Here’s what they promised us on launch day on Dec 17, 2012. Approximately 50% of that was total crap. Here’s the truth.

[divider]

No, You Get Out of MY Kitchen!

There’s a lot of unanswered questions. I’d love to know how many people got banned for various reasons before they instituted their draconian forum firewall. From my armchair estimation, it has to be in the hundreds. Gamers are still complaining about losing access to accounts due to poorly implemented anti-hacking measures and unfair forum bans. Hammerpoint totally screwed the pooch with their response to this debacle. Instead of listening to their player’s genuine complaints, they’re on a crusade to squelch their own fan base on their forums. These strange forums rules, that I’ve personally never seen on any other rules post, indicate to me that Hammerpoint is incredibly paranoid about any further black marks on their own home turf. Yeah, it’s their website and they can do whatever they want to with it. They could ban ALL players from the forums, or delete them entirely. But what does this type of censorship and strip-mining of criticism do? It amplifies it elsewhere. And I don’t think they want another motherlovin’ word written about their game.

Good job, guys.

Previous post

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag confirmed by Ubisoft

Next post

21 & OVER Movie Review

The Author

Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte is the Video Games Editor of ScreenInvasion.com: a class warrior poet who writes about all things video games. He's sure everything is not under control and is not going to be okay. For a good time, follow his angry rants and smart thoughts on Twitter: @carlwilhoyte.