Why You Should be (Begrudgingly) Happy for Infestation: Survivor Stories

I know what you’re thinking after reading that headline: what the hell is Infestation: Survivor Stories?

Well, you probably better know it as The War Z or, more likely, as that shameful DayZ rip off that failed to actually feature several of its biggest selling points, but was instead loaded with crippling glitches, embarrassing bugs, and possibly the most insulting pay to play system ever in a video game. Eventually it would go on to change its name (thanks to the good lawyers representing World War Z) and achieve a 20 on Metacritic, which is actually better than its still generous 1.5 user score.

“Oh!,” you’re probably saying, “That Infestation: Survivor Stories. Whatever happened to it?” Well it turns out that it’s actually quite the success, since you ask, with the game’s unholy publishers OP Productions releasing a press statement that says Infestation has 1.3 million registered players, with over 100,00 players logged in every day.

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In case you’re wondering if the game suddenly got better, thus explaining these numbers, the answer is a resounding “no.”

That being the case, your initial reaction may be the same as mine, which was a furious shout of blasphemy at how a game that essentially represents everything wrong with gaming, and, in some cases, the world at large, could achieve a level of success that even with inevitably inflated PR numbers is simply astounding all things considered.

Surely then you’ll be joining the rest of your fellow usually level headed gamers in storming the message boards like a beachhead with protests and furious accusations regarding the nighttime activities of the mothers of everyone that plays or developed this game. Honestly, I can’t really blame you if you do, as there is some righteous anger to be had at this baffling piece of statistics.

Before you do, though, I ask that you stand back and consider the matter with a level head. Sure it is bothersome that over a million people would play a game that lied to them from the start, and tries to rob them blind every time they log in, but if your initial reaction is rage, then this is likely not a game meant for you in the first place, and getting bothered about the news that it is roughly more successful than a game like Psychonauts, is about as useful at getting angry at concrete for being hot during the summer.

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The fact is that there has been a calling for a type of game like Infestationfor some time, and even though DayZ fulfilled it long ago by providing the most important mod since Counter-Strike, that was never meant for the gamers that would enjoy Infestation, just as Infestation is not meant to be enjoyed by you, the hardcore gamer.

So my advice is to not join the flame wars surrounding this announcement, and instead take a deep breath, load up DayZ, and enjoy the fact its one of a kind gameplay doesn’t have to be tainted or watered down by accommodating players that would approach it by attacking zombie infested towns like they just touched a golden invincibility star. Instead, it can continue to cater to its own crowd, much like Infestation can fulfill a need for its players.

After all, there’s a wide world of video games out there, and it’s always better to find humor in the ones not meant for you, rather than secrete outrage over them.