Readers should be aware of the return of one of Steams most notorious Steam sellers. The Steam user who goes by the name “Panzer Gaming Studios” (Jason Welge) is currently attempting to sell a bundle of three hastily made games consisting of almost entirely of pre-purchased Unreal developer kit assets. You may have heard reports of his shady dealings in the past and he is currently listed in the Unreal Engine forums as a known scammer (number six on their list). Outside of general concerns regarding the quality and content of the developer’s games themselves, there have also been reports of his refusal to pay for the work of independent freelancers.
While Steam Greenlight has often allowed sub-par games consisting almost entirely of re-purposed developer kit assets, Panzer Gaming Studios seems to be going a step further by circumventing Steam’s oversight altogether. Offering the bundle through direct pay-pal transactions allows Panzer Gaming Studios to circumvent Steam’s transaction fees and, perhaps more important to perspective buyers, prevent refunds. You will not be protected by Steam’s subscriber agreement if you purchase via Paypal.
The first title, Time Ramesside (released May 1, 2015 and currently priced at $9.99), has been entirely abandoned by Panzer Gaming Studios amid a flurry of negative reviews (currently at a 19% “Very Negative” rating) and accusations of pushing forward a barely functioning game with minimal original assets beyond what is provided by UE4. Even the Steam store page acts as a red flag, with broken thumbnails for videos and reviews wondering how the game was ever pushed through Greenlight and Early Access.
The other two titles, The Sacred Stone: A Story Adventure (released January 29, 2016; priced at $8.99) and X-17 (released March 1st, 2016; priced $14.99) have all the hallmarks of their predecessor. Both are Early Access titles suffering from significant concerns regarding flaws in gameplay and content. Both currently have only “Mixed” review ratings on Steam; most likely due to their relative obscurity. Finally, the two titles were released within 6 weeks of one another, showcasing what little work was most likely done for either game beyond what was absolutely necessary to bring it to market. All of this can be seen below in Zaxtor99’s review of X-17, all of which showcases another mess in the making.
In any case, the fact that two Early Access titles and a title with 19% review rating are being bundled together to be sold outside of Steam Store protections should give pause to any potential buyer.