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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.   

A quick overview of the three games in question (Time Ramesside, X-17, and The Sacred Stone: A Story Adventure) reveals why access to refunds should be a concern.     

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.

Time Ramesside Steam Page  

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. 

Rhys Kuzdas

Historian and writer with a passion for collecting, playing, and suffering through games. Has a particular passion for strategy games of all kinds and has spent nearly three decades seeking them out in all their forms. Currently attempting to become a mature and responsible adult (results pending).

  • I was trying to figure out why the name seemed so familiar, then I remember watching Retsupurae make fun of the very first Kickstarter for Left to Rot, back in the day.

    I can’t believe he still hasn’t given up.

  • coboney

    Left for Rot, in various forms and 4 different names was attempted to kickstart 4 times. It’s pretty amazing really.

  • Typical

    Protip: most indies are crap, not buying them will avoid so much disappointment.

  • Rhys Kuzdas

    While it is true that most unfinished Indie titles are crap, it’s usually because of a lack of resources/time rather than a lack of passion, vision, or drive. In the case of panzer gaming studios, it is a lack of scruples and good taste.

  • SevTheBear

    60% of the Greenlight and Early Access games on steam is either, RPG maker, Survival sanbox, Minecraft – or Diablo clones. Then we have the pure garbage games that uses Unity assets by the bucket loads. Can’t wait to see all the Unreal 4 assets games in the near future…

  • hapexindustries

    This is probably the most ignorant fucking comment I’ve read on a gaming website in forever. Wtf indie games are you playing? 90% of the games I play and enjoy are indie games, it’s the AAA market that has failed us utterly by churning out overpriced, shortlived, recycled crap every goddamn year (kinda like the new FarCry a couple days ago). There are many many shitty indie games, yes, absolutely, but ‘not buying them’ leaves what? The new AssCreed? CoD? Dragon Age:Shitquisition? Dank Souls? Get the fuck out of here.

    Nearly every good game I’ve played in the last 3 years was an indie game or a small publisher, whereas I play maybe 4 good AAA releases a year.

    I would never say there are not a lot of terrible indie games but avoiding them entirely cuts off any real chance of experiencing any innovation in videogaming. Undertale, Papers Please, Darkest Dungeon, Sunless Sea, ARK-Survival Evolved, Herosiege, AI War, Dungeon of Dredmore, Terraria, Minecraft before it got bought, Xenonauts, shit Witcher is published by the guys that make it, it might technically be indie, Endless Legend, Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, Shadowrun Returns, NeoScavenger, and dozens more have picked up the ball that AAA dropped in the early mid 00s when the megapublishers realized fanboys would drop 60 bucks on the same crap every year. Genres left to rot like 4x and space combat and basically everything that isn’t a goddamn third person covershooter or a FPS with zombies have found new life and fans and success, and new genres like adventure walking simulators, survival/crafting and action roguelikes (Amnesia/Vanishing of Ethan Carter, for instance, and Minecraft, and Spelunky/La Mulana/Rogue Legacy) have breathed at least some innovation into the medium, to say nothing of weirder games. They might not be as polished and certainly not as pretty (in general) but jesus christ at least there’s a fucking soul there instead of a board of directors and an army of oppressed programmers and artists.

    Anyway, keep playing your rehashed iterations, I guess, I’m sure AssCreed 12 and CoD37 will totally be worse $90+ each with the season passes.

  • Grenaid

    “were greed of man”

    “were greed”


    Seriously, they can’t even bother to proof their own store front? Wow. Crazy.

  • Rhys Kuzdas

    I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, which is why I used the qualifier “unfinished” in regards to indie games in my own comment. However one only needs look through Steam Greenlight or Kickstarter to see just how many “indie games” are given only a coat of paint and a bunch of promises before being thrown onto a marketplace for every ARK-survival there is a Starforge.

    Though I do expect Steam’s recent refund policy to severely limit this in short time.

  • DynastyStar

    I would say that about something like 70-90% of indies are crap, but then you have developers who release huge and free updates well after launch like the people behind Terrraria, FTL: Faster Than Light, Shovel Knight, and the game that I am getting into most recently, the developer behind Stardew Valley in that he’s now working on mod support and multiplayer for the game, and the multiplayer(and of course the mod workshop) will be free. He also specifically did not put his game into Early Access because of concerns about the publisher’s previous game, Starbound and the publisher is only making 5% of the cut.

  • I’m surprised Kickstarter don’t have any restrictions on spamming the same project, that many times.

  • Madatom

    i dont think this guy is a scammer

    i just think hes immensely incompetent and not worth the time, there are some people who legitimately believe they are flawless perfect individuals and go around telling everyone this despite evidence showing they are fucking insane

  • Typical

    Aww, did I huwt youw feewings? For every good game you named up there, and I counted about 4, there are about 100 total pieces of garbage that someone upvoted because they like pixelated crap. There are enough good games out there that you don’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for someone’s pet project that is only even out there because Steam has become incredibly lax on their store standards.

  • Typical

    Yeah, and those games have been out long enough to be a safe bet mostly. The fact that unlike captain crybaby below, you are agreeing on the 70-90% are crap figure just illustrates my point. Unless it’s a humble bundle type deal, I never buy indie until it’s been around for a long time. And it’s funny you mention Starbound and early access, because I want to try that game, but EA is another big pitfall to stay away from.

  • hapexindustries

    “I would never say there are not a lot of terrible indie games but avoiding them entirely cuts off any real chance of experiencing any innovation in videogaming. ”

    And whether there are enough ‘good games’ is pretty subjective. I suppose if all I want to play is military shooters and third person action games then maybe that is true. It’s possible you didn’t enjoy all the games I listed but I chose them specifically because I personally enjoyed each one, and either have no direct AAA analog or outshines whatever the large studio version might be.

    If you somehow feel totally satisfied with the offerings the big publishers provide then I would suggest sticking to those but I (and thousands of others) feel differently. Enjoy the next Watch_Dogs.

  • Typical

    Again with the condescension… I don’t play any of the shit games you keep wanting to straw man me with. You sound like some kind of butt hurt indie dev who hasn’t yet come to grips with the fact that he’s actually releasing crap… Is that you Jon Blow?

    At any rate, enjoy having crap like Gone home and Her Story pushed on you since you know, only AAA studios manipulate hype for underwhelming products.

  • DynastyStar

    Yeah, what I mean is like let’s say 200 indie games are released in a year(which with the amount of crap that gets shat onto steam, thats a believable statistic for me), 90% of those games might be worth playing. That’s still 20 solid games to enjoy per year.

  • Typical

    The problem is though with all of the paid for reviews popping up, and the way Steam seems to randomly suggest absolute garbage in your queue, it’s still better off to wait for a good long time before buying. The 2 rules I live by are 1. not in Early Access, and 2. have been out for a long time with at least 500 reviews. also there’s the secret 3rd rule: If it isn’t carried in a brick and mortar store, it better be cheap.

  • hapexindustries

    I apologize if I have to assume you are playing shit tier games from AAA publishers but I am not able to think of enough good games to justify your position. For there to be ‘enough good games’ to not need the indie market would imply that there are dozens and dozens released every year but if I try real hard I can probably name ten within the last twelve months (without getting into weird Japanese or Nintendo stuff) and that would take me beyond the bounds of the genres I actually I enjoy. The only ones I could think of that I wanted to play at all were MGSV, Arkham Knight, Tomb Raider (I guess?), Fallout 4, Dying Light and Xcom2 (which was released broken, thank you again Firaxis). Sequel, sequel, sequel, sequel, basically a sequel and sequel, and hardly more than a couple months worth of gaming, if that (I was done with most of these in a week or two). The concepts behind several of these are unoriginal even beyond being sequels: Fallout 4, Tomb Raider and Xcom 2 are sequels of reboots (I don’t even know which iteration of reboot we’re up to with Tomb Raider, 3rd?).

    I can, however, name ALL the AAA 4x games that were released in the last 5 years: five, all released by Firaxis through 2k Games, two were DLC for Civilization 5, one of which was a utter trash (Starships) and the other two were a generally lackluster (at best mediocre) ripoff reskin of Civ5 (Civ: Beyond Earth) and the DLC for it that failed to make it worth buying. Hell let’s expand it to 6 based on the wiki Chronology of 4x page and throw Heroes of Might and Magic 6 in there from Ubisoft (broken and terrible)… so call it six and (other than the DLC) they all sucked to varying degrees.

    There have been twice as many indie 4x games put out in the same time, and of course most of them sucked but at least three or four of them were not just good but actually better than the mainstream options. Distant Worlds: Universe, Endless Legend, Last Federation, and Star Ruler 2 (and I’d argue even GalCiv 3, Pandora and Horizon) provided better experiences at a better value.

    It is entirely possible the genres that interest you are the ones that are most abused by scammers; first person ‘Slender’ games from Eastern Europe, first and third person shooters (especially MP), survival/crafting games, puzzle/platformers, JRPG (omfg Rpgmaker…), in which case I suppose I can understand your perspective if not agree with it. But invoking Jon Blow is a poor means of making your point, Braid was a cool little game and The Witness seems to be pretty good as well. If you’re comparing those games to Deadly Profits, Slaughtering Grounds, Lumber Island, or even decent games that went off the rails and failed everyone like Towns or SpaceBase DF9 (fuck you Tim Schafer) then I have to say the problem is on your end.

    As for the underwhelming products being pushed on me from indies and AAAs I’d say that is par for the course for everyone, videogame ‘journalism’ has never been at a lower point, and that is a problem unto itself, but I would contend ‘hype manipulation’ to be slightly less offensive than buying reviews with outrageous advertising budgets.

  • Typical

    You get that like 5 people beyond you actually play 4x games. Gal Civ 3 is the only one you need.

    I’ve gotten a hundred hours into fallout 4, hell before that I was still playing skyrim, I got about 50 into the last tomb raider, Just cause series is a good time sink, etc. I get it, are you like a 12 year old that has hundreds of hours to put into gaming, so you breeze right through them? I still haven’t gotten past the first quest in witcher 2 let alone getting to start 3 yet, because some people have big boy responsibilities. I’m willing to waste time with a cheap $5 indie game for a while, but seriously, unless all you do is game there are a few releases all from major publishers that can get you through a whole year without resorting to most of the shit you keep complaining about. Though I will admit, Far Cry series is a guilty pleasure when it drops below half price or so. Also, I get that you’re all ego and too cool for mainstream, Mr indie hipster, but in the real world, things get sequels made because they’re good or sell well, whether YOU personally think they’re worthy or not.

  • hapexindustries

    So clearly because people have different lifestyles and interests or enjoy different games than you they aren’t adults or they have shit taste. I work a 40+ hr a week job and still played all those sequels I listed (along with dozens more), I’m not above enjoying a sequel, I’m simply pointing out that relying on AAA publishers for innovation is a fools gamble.

  • Typical

    Hi pot, I’m Kettle! Your self awareness is amazong!

  • Trigger

    Relying on triple-A publishers for innovation is a fool’s gamble, indeed. Triple-A is just as much a slopfest as indie is, with the added downside of never really doing anything new. Triple-A’s literal purpose is playing it safe and appealing as broadly as possible to make as much money as possible.

    You’ll have to dig through a mountain of shit either way. I’d rather dig through the mountain of shit that’s more likely to have gems in it. Every now and then triple-A will put out something that’s actually worth looking at, but by and large the indie sector and the long-lost middle market have the most bang for one’s shit-digging buck.