The War Z re-brands to Infestation: Survivor Stories
June 20, 2013 // 10:11 a.m.
Infamous zombie survival MMO The War Z has changed its name to Infestation: Survivor Stories.
According to developers Hammerpoint Interactive and publishers OP Productions, the re-brand is to avoid confusion among players and is the only change being made to the game.
'OP Productions initially filed The War Z trademark early last year, but soon found out from the United States Patent and Trademark Office that the name was comparable to another property,' the companies explain in a press release announcing the change.
The development team were apparently reluctant to change the name so far after launch but thought that the new name would still resonate with the existing community and would benefit fans and future players by eliminating confusion.
The War Z launched in October 2012 and made headlines for its seemingly unfinished state. The game's misleading feature list in Steam even led to Valve offering refunds to anyone who bought the game through the digital distribution platform and the title was pulled whilst changes were implemented.
The confusion that Hammerpoint Interactive is referring to is most likely the comparisons that are often drawn between The War Z and the hugely successful Arma II mod, DayZ. DayZ won critical acclaim earlier on in 2012 and has a standalone version of the game currently in development.
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything back in January, DayZ creator Dean Hall expressed his anger at The War Z due to how similar the names are and how individual people can easily get the two mixed up. He also mentioned that he had close friends and family muddle the two and confront him about what they considered to be The War Z's unethical business behaviour.
The other possibility is that Hammerpoint is worried people will confuse The War Z with World War Z, a zombie-based 2006 horror novel that has recently received the silver screen treatment courtesy of Brad Pitt's production company.