Wild West Online might be the worst game of 2017, and its alpha weekend rollout might be the worst pitch to buy a game that I have seen since The WarZ did it years ago, but I have to give some kudos to the team. Let’s talk.
This weekend marked the second alpha test weekend for Wild West Online, a game that I have not shown much mercy to. The first weekend was written off as a technical test, an idea that I fully rejected at the time and will continue to do so. Once again, it doesn’t matter what WWO Partners calls the weekend. From the perspective of a customer, I don’t really care that all you were hoping to do was test server capacity and various other bugs. WWO offered two weekends to test the game before the guaranteed refund period passed, after which you’re out of luck and stuck with whatever the game gives you.
This is, regardless of what you or the community call the weekend, a trial period for the product, where you’re trying to convince people that the game will be worth their money. To present the offer of two whole alpha tests to figure out of the game is worth keeping your pre-order, and then to turn around and showcase that with much of the game’s content turned off, is at the very least mildly insulting. It’s like a restaurant offering free samples on its soup, but the sample itself is an uncooked piece of an onion that was part of the recipe. It’s a poor indicator of the full product and you start to wonder who in the kitchen decided to use this to gauge consumer interest.
The second alpha weekend did some polishing on the first, but didn’t really add anything new. As a result, I once again have to conclude that there isn’t enough in the game to warrant buying it at this stage, and that the preview weekend wasn’t enough to convince me that the game can’t go entirely south before launch.
I will give kudos to the team for holding up their end of the bargain this time. After seeing how little progress had been made with the second weekend, I submitted an email to Xsolla’s support with a simple message with my receipt code and game key and asked for a refund. I received it, barely a half hour later. I’ve offered my doubts on Xsolla and Wild West Online, especially after how the refund policy for WarZ was botched, but I will give credit where credit is due: They held up their end of the bargain and gave me my refund with no questions asked. Looking at the forums, it appears that other users also aren’t having an issue getting refunds as well and most are receiving responses within a half hour as well.
So kudos for that, Xsolla.