Late last year, an alpha for a game called The War Z appeared on Steam. The game was incredibly similar to an ARMA II mod called DayZ, which had taken the PC community by storm in the summer of 2012. Both games featured open-world gameplay that required scavenging to survive while avoiding zombies and either teaming up with, avoiding, or killing other players for their supplies.
Many DayZ players felt slighted, believing that the developers of The War Z had quickly put together a zombie survival mmo to cash in on the trend, with even a name meant to confuse gamers. When it came to light that some of the claims about The War Z made it its Steam description were untrue, a flood of negative press flooded onto the internet. The game was pulled from Steam shortly after.
Now, the creators of The War Z have been forced to change the game's name. The re-branded title is Infestation: Survival Stories. It's unclear whether the previous name was changed because it conflicted with the DayZ name, or if the impending release of the summer blockbuster World War Z may have something to do with it.
The name change was announced on the forums at the now-Infestation-branded website. The only changes to the game, developers claim, is a logo change. The announcement, in full:
Effective today, The War Z has changed its name to Infestation: Survivor Stories. This change has come about primarily as a result of some confusion and trademark issues with a similarly titled property. While we were reluctant to rename the game so long after launch, especially with nearly 1 million registered players, it was ultimately decided to be in the best interest of our existing community as well as future players in order to eliminate confusion. Please rest assured that this will in NO WAY affect you as players. The only difference you will see is the change in logo and website. There will be no interruption of service or change in content.
So, welcome to Infestation: Survivor Stories – have fun and stay alive!
The creators of DayZ have not commented on Infestation, continuing the silence that they largely held to during The War Z incident last fall. The creator of the DayZ mod, Dean "Rocket" Hall, has been given a small team at Bohemia Interactive, and is currently developing a stand-alone version of the game.