War Z producer publishes confession after disaster launch

'I was arrogant and blinded by the early success of The War Z', says Sergey Titov

The extraordinary calamity of The War Z launch has forced the game's producer, Sergey Titov, to apologise publicly for some of his personal actions.


A markedly incomplete version of War Z was thrown onto Valve's Steam portal in December and triggered outcry from buyers. At the time, developer Hammerpoint Interactive refused to acknowledge allegations that it falsely advertised the survival horror MMO.

As complaints flooded in, Valve removed the title from Steam and offered refunds to customers who purchased the game.

Finding itself increasingly engulfed by further accusations, Hammerpoint was also alleged to have borrowed art assets as well as unfairly charged players for certain in-game features. It also discovered that The War Z trademark had been refused.

While not openly discussing specific allegations, Titov has apologised for not properly engaging with his customers.

In a new year's message, he said: "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."

The letter, published in full on VG247, contains several personal apologies from Titov.

"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," he said.

Throughout the letter, Titov described the volume of complaints as "small" when compared with the number of unvocal customers.

"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," he said.

"We chose to tune out negative reactions to the game, not paying enough attention to them - and this, again, is my fault. We chose to rely too much on numbers - percentage of refund requests, number and dynamic of our daily and monthly active users, etc.

"Even when the percentage of players with negative comments is small, as the community grows, even a small percentage can add up to be a very significant absolute number."