Wild West Online addresses Sergey Titov rumors [Updated]

Rumors spread on Reddit yesterday suggesting that Sergey Titov is involved in Wild West Online have been partially but not fully debunked. Titov, you’ll recall, was the controversial personality behind scandal-riddled The War Z aka Infestation: Survivor Stories aka Infestation World, a survival game so terrible our original reviewer called it “worse than actually being killed by zombies.”

Reddit user TheSkiesAreShattered (now deleted) posted his hypothesis (now deleted) that Titov was involved in Wild West Online’s development and indeed was its mysterious investor. The Redditor offered circumstantial evidence including an engine comparison, domain name patterns, and Facebook friends lists, chastising the press for missing those “clues.” Similar threads on the official forum have been locked and heavily moderated with links to the Reddit thread removed, but a forum moderator confirmed that the team licensed the engine from Free Reign Entertainment – that’s Sergey Titov’s outfit.

“No, Sergey Titov is not involved in the development of this game, but yes we use a game engine developed and supported by one of his companies,” the mod writes. A second followup post from the developers also homes in on the engine rumor specifically but doesn’t address the other allegations:

“We’d like to address some concern that has been voiced regarding use of the Nightshade engine. We decided from the outset that we did not want to develop a new engine – our strengths lie in game and story design so we wanted to use an existing engine that would be suitable for an online, multiplayer game and allow us to scale over time. We chose Nightshade because it provides the best tools for our team in terms of building/scaling the game, and it has some robust anti-cheat features already embedded that would save us time and expense that we could then allocate towards feature development. We’re happy with our choice, and are working to bring you a fun game experience built atop this engine. This is the only post we will be making regarding this subject and we expect this will allay the concerns of certain members of our community. We now want to focus on the game and working with you guys to make something pretty badass for PC. We hope you guys will judge us on the outcome of the game and give us your support so that we can bring this to fruition.”

Concerns very much not allayed, Massively OP reached out to 612 Games for comment yesterday, hence the delay on this post, but the studio sent us the same engine-related statement it made on the forums, in spite of the fact that we asked specifically about Sergey Titov’s role in funding the game, not about the engine. The team did not address Titov’s involvement in the game’s funding or lack thereof on the record. We have requested further clarification.

Source: Reddit, official forums. Thanks, Kieran and halldorr!
Update: Massively OP has received an additional statement from 612 that makes clear Titov is not financing the game or involved in any way.

“Yes, we are using the Nightshade game engine from Free Reign Entertainment. However, 612 Games is neither a subsidiary of Free Reign, nor financed by Free Reign or Sergey Titov. The team is focused on making a great game that will speak for itself, and now that we’ve addressed this topic we are going to return our focus to the game itself. Thank you for your continued support.”

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49 Comments on "Wild West Online addresses Sergey Titov rumors [Updated]"

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Neurotic

The Russian Derek Smart… :D

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

To be fair, the horrible review referenced in the above article was on “The War Z (aka Infestation: Survivor Stories)” and was written in 2013. By the time it became Infestation World (2016) it was noted that “Frame rate inconsistencies, bugs and cheating have been addressed”. Since this game is obviously using the most recent version of the engine, it’s safe to say that frame rate inconsistencies, bugs and cheating have been addressed.

I’m willing to give both Sergey and the engine a chance to prove that they are better than the reputation they apparently have. 612 Games seems to want to deliver a quality product to us so I have no reason to believe they’ll intentionally release us a turd (and every game has had cheating in some form or fashion so I’m more interested in how they handle it going forward verses whether or not it’s [impossibly] cheat proof).

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mcsleaz

“The team is focused on making a great game that will speak for itself”

Then why are you using Sergey Titov’s horrible, horrible engine?

vikaernes
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vikaernes

The fact that this could bury one of the few MMOs on the horizon doing something different than swords and sorcery is disappointing. Just the fact that there’s no steam early access puts this way off the typical MO of Titov. I’m going to judge it by the merits of the end product, it costs me nothing to do so.

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kidwithknife

Ewww… I actually don’t care one way or the other that they’re using the War Z engine or who they have funding them, but the super-defensive reaction is very off putting. I suppose it doesn’t matter much since they’re not asking for Kickstarter money or anything, but it still leaves a pretty poor impression.

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neil shelton

oh my, war z is the most hackable engine ever. pass.

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Mikka Hansen

and thus, a game goes from promising to dead in the blink of an eye

vikaernes
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vikaernes

They’ve already made it very clear that he’s not involved in any way in the development of the game. That’s good enough for me. While I understand it’s not enough for everyone, and others want assurance that he is not involved in the project funding? Well, that is, unfortunately, none of our damn business. Private investors have the right to remain just that, private, whether we like them or not. I honestly think it’s the engine and not a whole lot else, though.

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kgptzac

Then the studio should properly address this “concern” (however fake you may regard it) by telling everyone they are not disclosing such information, and the reason for not disclosing this information, all in professional manners. Dodging and stay silence is actually not good PR for any intelligent customer.

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Chris Moss

100% Agree

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Bryan Correll

This is the only post we will be making regarding this subject and we expect this will allay the concerns of certain members of our community.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

Hopefully they come out and debunk this soon. If not, I guess I’ll just have to play Red Dead to quench the thirst I have for a rad Western MMO.

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MeltWithYou

LOL people still haven’t realized the power of ‘real talk’…seriously if the truth is, ‘we licensed the engine cause we think its great, other than that, I don’t even know who the fk Titov is?’ or ‘yea I know who Titov is, beyond licensing the engine from him, thats about all he has to do with this project’ or ‘yea we totally took money from him’, would be better than ‘we licensed the engine cause its super… … … [crickets] [I’m going to pretend I didn’t read anything else and I’m done commenting on the subject]’

Anything would be better than some vague, half answer response to people that are already suspicious…way to go. Honesty is the BEST policy, now your game you’ve been working on for years is probably DOA…wah wah

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MesaSage

This genre is getting sillier by the day.

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silverlock

If they aren’t asking for our money why would we care where there’s is coming from?

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mcsleaz

Because the engine they chose was created by the shadiest developer ever and said engine is known for being extremely easy to hack.
Chances are this will turn into a gankfest run by hackers.

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Chris Moss

How dare you Silver, you don’t question the makers of a game that you do not have any money invested in!

At this point I’m already over all this conspiracy theories over a game that has not come out.

We have been told the game will have OPEN ALPHA for all players to try , before they buy.

But I guess that is still not good enough.

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Kickstarter Donor
Nordavind

That is a naive attitude at best for any such situation. You should always want to know where the money comes from.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ashfyn Ninegold

Never believe a thing you see, hear or read on the internets.

As our intrepid reporters were advised in All the President’s Men (sadly out of fashion), follow the money.

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Utakata

In Mother Russia though, you don’t follow the money, the money follows you… :(

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Utakata

I presume this another one of those developers who think the quality of their self-importance should be higher than the game they’re developing. And given enough rope, they will try to sue a big name Kickstarter to emphasise that self-importance part? o.O

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Utakata

I guess I am a bit off the Smart remark here. :(

finyar
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finyar

That was pretty obvious from the beginning. Their publisher (DJ2 Entertainment) has ROMERO’S AFTERMATH, the spiritual successor to The War Z aka Infestation: Survivor Stories aka Infestation World, in its portfolio. Wild West Online is just another cash grab.

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silverlock

If it’s a cash grab then why cancel the Kick Starter all together?

singalongdingdong
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singalongdingdong

What Kickstarter? They claim they didn’t need to do a Kickstarter, so it never was actually publicized AFAIK, so who knows if they’re lying or not? I personally think it’s far from coincidental that the same publisher has published their previous games, they’re using the same engine as those games, and they have no idea who sergey titov is, or the previous (terribly received) games the engine has been associated with. It’s really suspicious.

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Chris Moss

Honestly I have no clue who this guy is. I never played any of the games mentioned he was involved with.

My hopes are that WWO will be controversy free soon. I know that there is an open Alpha planned for summer. So we should see then if there is anything to worry about.

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mcsleaz

“I never played any of the games mentioned he was involved with”

All the same zombie game, Rebranded 3 or 4 times to sucker in new people with fresh wallets.

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Boom

Until further clarification

giphy.gif
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Melissa McDonald

I am SO stealing that gif. Thanks man :)

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Armsbend

It is perfect for a great many things.

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Utakata

I like this one better for the succinctness. <3

oh-shi.gif
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Melissa McDonald

yeah but that one has cussin’, doesn’t work for everyone.

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Utakata

Hence, being more succinct as I mentioned. :)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

honestly the world war z thing was one of those profitable witch hunts for youtuber influencers posing as legit critics and press of some random shit game on steam.

there’s just so many of those that it’s silly for them to go after these random games of small companies that can’t afford to fight them and end up getting a lot of sales but stuff like this happens where grudges form and more conspiracy theorism witch hunts happen if they do anything in a future game.

i have no doubt world war z was a shit game, but hardly worth the manufactured “controversy” over it as it’;s one of tens of thousands of shit games on steam. and really not even as bad as the all too common asset flips on steam as at least it was a serious attempt at a game even if troubled.

ofc these influencers act like their doing a david and goliath thing even when it’s the exact opposite.

tl;dr was world war z a shit game? yes definitely. does that mean the company owner should cast an albotross on all future games he might have some vague indirect involvement in?

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mcsleaz

Anything that’s been touched by Sergey Titov deserves to be shat all over and any Developer that hasn’t been living under a rock the past few yrs should know better than to get involved with Sergey on any level & that includes using his notoriously easy to hack engine.

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Chris Moss

I’m really getting tired of the irrational fear mongering going on all over the web

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Boom

This is very different to a Sterlingesque affair like the Digital Homicide one of which I would agree has become a somewhat bandwagon thing.
I wholeheartedly agree that going after someone whose game looks like it was designed on a smoke packet & drawn in MS Paint is just a non entity which has become all to common but WarZ was well above that in terms of sheer bare faced lies, it wasnt some ten a penny asset flip we see all to often now.
From the outset it was a scam, a good one but a scam none the less & when you delve deeper into that & Sergey Titovs back catalogue you will see that he deserves every bit of the Albotross shadowing you describe.

Jesus just look at Big Rigs.

As I said though until further clarification Im not writing it off just staying away & quelling any personal hype in the process.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eh world war z was a serious and legitimate game development effort. even if the lead guy was full of shit in his claims (particularly about dealing with cheaters iirc).

shitty dev with an honesty problem definitely, but not a scammer imo. something he’s not alone in in this industry, and not seeing bandwagons against those game projects to that degree so far.

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mcsleaz

“but not a scammer imo”

That’s why he re-branded that crap game 3 or 4 times, cause he’s not a scammer, lmao.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

he was subject to an ongoing smear campign for profit by many youtubers at the time.

in the context of trying to escape their harassment it makes sense to a degree.

you tell me how you react the next time on the internet goes on a protracted witchhunt against you and your livelihood for months on end.

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Boom

You see honesty problem I see scammer, WarZ was repackaged 3 times in total no? I even remember the original site for it with completely fabricated screenshots, these werent your average differences that all games seem to have on their store pages but glaring mythical shots that could never be seen in game ever.
As per the bandwagon though Im talking about the Sterling effect of leaping on any game which is just an asset flip for cheap kickbacks, some are devious yes but some are genuinely peoples first attempts at games & as such its unwarranted of that level of hate.
This guy Titov though is a shady mf, I even remember him calling people on the forums faggots & when looking at the WarZ debacle when it was rebranded they hid his involvement.

For a fresh start or fresh victims?
Youve just got a better heart than me dk:) If/When there is more info i’ll look again lol

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

fwiw i did mention this and will link in guild discord so others can see. and there is a planned open alpha this summer apparently so maybe we can see for ourselves.

it’s hard to judge this at this time adn the pr press release is not unjustifiable given these things. but i mean consider that if you are this team and someone comes along willing to fund and publish you fully. in an age where the average kickstarter prjects that show a reasonable market demand are being to keep crowdfunding and self publish, it’d be a major boon.

so i suppose we’ll see what happens with this game from here on out. and the connection however vague and tinfoil hatted is noted.

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Boom

I see what your saying regarding ole tinfoil but with the moves he made before to hide his involvement in projects & the minute amount of detail they have offered is enough to ring alarm bells for me.
Im not telling anyone to not get involved, as and always each to their own an all that. Just that if im waiting for a train that even has a 1% chance of derailing i’ll wait in the car park not on the platform lol

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

this reminds me of various reddit sleuthing efforts over the years. like that time they totally found the boston marathon bomber.

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Melissa McDonald

I’d appreciate clarification on their previous statement “Combat occurs between players“, and how that relates to them also allowing for PvE servers, i.e., does that mean no combat on a PvE server?
Ya know, iff’n you ever gets to talk to them again about some stuff.

wpDiscuz