New STEAM Network game pulled from network. Copied images from The Walking Dead

From Forbes online, (http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/12/20/war-z-uses-images-taken-from-amcs-the-walking-dead/)

Well the War Z scandal continues to deepen, even though the game has beenat least temporarily removed from Steam.

The question now becomes: Will Valve allow a game that so flagrantly violated consumer trust to return?

That question is made more poignant by recent revelations about the game’s artwork. Apparently (and you can see for yourself after the leap) the game lifted images directly from AMC’s The Walking Dead. This means that not only was the game a blatant knock-off of Day Z which rips a huge portion of its assets from War Inc, its creators had neither the decency or, apparently, the budget to devise their own images.

Whether or not this game is a “scam” or whether it’s fun or boring, it’s pretty obviously crossed some ethical lines, becoming the video game equivalent of a “mockbuster.”

Zombie Doppelgangers

The picture on the left is a zombie from The Walking Dead. The slightly altered version on the right is taken from War Z artwork.

Here’s another one:

And if that’s not clear enough for you:

(Hat Tip: Jason Schreier)

Some people have said that all of this is simply unwarranted outrage or whiny, “entitled” gamers at it again. That strikes me as absurd. There may be too much outrage at times, and gamers may indeed be prone to thinking and expecting the worst.

But Sergey Titov and Hammerpoint Interactive have dug this zombie grave for themselves, and then leaped headlong into it through a combination of misleading advertising, broken promises, bad customer service, and interviews with the gaming press that make them look even worse than if they’d said nothing at all.

Big Rigs

Titov himself is an interesting figure in all of this. Back in 2003 he was the producer of a game that has been dubbed by many as “the worst game in history.”

Big Rigs earned a whopping score of 1 from GameSpot. In their review of the game, they concluded:

Just how bad is Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing? It’s as bad as your mind will allow you to comprehend. It is so disturbingly bad that even its budget price tag seems like a slap in the face. It really makes you wonder if the company that put out this dreck even took so much as a half minute to glance at the game that it was releasing. The game’s readme file does assert that the game was thoroughly tested on various PCs, but the end result seems to suggest otherwise. The fact is, even if you tried, you couldn’t play Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing the way it was seemingly intended to be played, and even if you could, you wouldn’t want to.

So there’s obviously something of a history here, and a definite pattern. Is it any wonder War Z turned out to be unfinished, that promises are being broken? Is there any reason to suspect Hammerpoint will actually come through with a finished product?

Because many promises of a similar nature have been made about War Inc,were made about Big Rigs, and many of those promises were broken as well.

Maybe this is much ado about nothing. Plenty of people seem to want to shrug the whole thing off, or claim that because they’re having fun with the game that everyone who has anything remotely negative to say about it is just looking for attention. I disagree, of course.

I think it’s important to call this stuff out when we see it—and even if this were the most beautifully made game of all time, ripping images from The Walking Dead is a pretty big deal. Just like “taking inspiration” from the Star Wars artwork of Olly Moss is not a particular kosher thing to do if your game happens to be Borderlands 2.

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