Home Gaming The S.T.A.L.K.E.R successor controversy

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R successor controversy

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Yesterday, we told you that West Games, a company comprised of former GSC and 4A staff was planning to build a successor to the seminal open world, atmospheric shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R. That entire Kickstarter campaign has now been mired in controversy – with Survarium developer Vlostok amongst many claiming that the whole thing is a sham.

In a now deleted post over on the Survarium forums, Vostok games’ Joe Mullin claimed that much of the artowrk used was from Stalker, with the following warning:

“We have contacted GSC’s lawyers regarding this fraudulent claim of being the developers of Stalker and Metro Last Light. Please do all you can do ensure people know these claims are false.”

Here’s what West Games says on its Kickstarter page:

“The core people that developed the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series have come together to create a new team called West Games. Together, we’re developing a game called Areal, which continues the spirit of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and adds an engrossing story, unique game-play and innovative features.”

Vlostok itself is comprised of former GSC staff. Oleg Yavorsky, PR Director of Vostok Games says that while it may be true that some of the staff at West games worked on Stalker, saying that they were the core team is little more than a fabrication

“So that you understand, over the years of development of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and then Metro series, there have been literally hundreds of people involved in working on various bits and pieces, starting from beta-testers up to modellers responsible for certain weapon models. Many people came to the studio to work for a few months just for the sake of adding “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. development” to their portfolio. Frequently they claimed afterwards to be the ‘core’ developers behind the game – you wouldn’t know anyway, right?).

His biggest issue is with West Games using footage from Stalker to try and sell this new project.

“Yet, my biggest concern is that West Games are using the footage and assets of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and representing them as their own, which is not only illegal, but simply just not right. I guess it’s all made for the sake of getting extra publicity (which unfortunately works), but guys on Kickstarter should probably pay attention”

Much of what was shown in the Kickstarter trailer for Areal appears to be stolen Artwork, or bits taken from stock standard demo footage, like this bit from a Unity Demo.

The developers of the Misery mod for Stalker claim that the entire thing is a scam, with a fairly convincing list of reasons why they believe the entire thing is a plan to swindle money on Stalker’s good name.

Last Updated: June 26, 2014

30 Comments

  1. Kensei Seraph

    June 26, 2014 at 15:06

    But it looked so promising.

    Thanks for the heads up though.

    Reply

    • Sol

      June 26, 2014 at 19:16

      It only looks promising because nearly everything they’ve showed is from STALKER.

      Reply

  2. Rince&Shitity

    June 26, 2014 at 15:10

    Damn man. Some people.

    Reply

  3. Xcalibersa

    June 26, 2014 at 15:13

    Ha, so I was right yesterday

    Reply

  4. Sith JJ

    June 26, 2014 at 15:14

    Did someone say STALKER?

    Reply

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 26, 2014 at 15:16

    Yes it’s not looking good. Sadly it sadly makes me sadder than a sad panda sitting sadly in a sad zoo sadly all alone eating some sad bamboo sadly while sadly contemplating sadness. I like Stalker 🙁

    Reply

  6. Liquid Kaz (Umar)

    June 26, 2014 at 15:18

    I met someone last week. Told me he’s working on a game and stuff. His first game he’s gonna do is a survival game on an island using Unity 3D. But his stuck with something, don’t know what…but yeah….Way to use the default Unity 3D level to try and convince everyone you made it….

    Reply

    • Sith JJ

      June 26, 2014 at 15:22

      Survival Island game. Very overcrowded market at the moment.

      Reply

      • Rince&Shitity

        June 26, 2014 at 15:25

        Agreed.

        Reply

        • Sith JJ

          June 26, 2014 at 15:28

          You need something unique to make it in that genre at the moment. The Forest seems to have gotten that right, but will see what they add to it still.

          Reply

    • Spathi

      June 26, 2014 at 15:24

      He is = He’s ? His

      Reply

      • Liquid Kaz (Umar)

        June 26, 2014 at 15:25

        Yeah, I edited before you commented OH GREAT NAZI SPATHI! 😛

        Reply

        • Spathi

          June 26, 2014 at 15:29

          Hehehe. Sorry, I only did it because I care!

          Reply

        • Rince&Shitity

          June 26, 2014 at 15:33

          At least he has touched you in some way today… 0-O

          Reply

          • Spathi

            June 26, 2014 at 15:35

            Dude, not just in “some way”, but in a very special way…

        • Kensei Seraph

          June 27, 2014 at 07:24

          You missed one.

          Reply

  7. Viking Of GabeN

    June 26, 2014 at 15:31

    It’s Fine, I’ll just keep playing the Lost Alpha mod…. 😉

    Reply

    • Sith JJ

      June 26, 2014 at 15:32

      MISERY dude.
      You haven’t played STALKER until you’ve played the MISERY mod.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 26, 2014 at 15:37

        Have you jammed the Lost Alpha mod?

        Reply

      • Viking Of GabeN

        June 26, 2014 at 15:37

        I Don’t have CoP anymore, unfortunately, my hard copy died during a move, Got Shadows… and honestly, have you seen Lost Alpha? It’s even standalone.

        (I Will however check out Misery, as soon as I replace CoP 🙂 )

        for reference: http://www.moddb.com/mods/lost-alpha

        Reply

        • Sith JJ

          June 26, 2014 at 15:38

          I have. But MISERY is just insane. I’ve never felt so lonely in a game before. And it’s insanely difficult. Most difficult thing I’ve played in a while.
          Bought CoP on Steam a while back to replace my missing original actually.

          Reply

  8. Brian Murphy

    June 26, 2014 at 16:16

    Well, it’s difficult for us to really find the truth out about this, so there’s 28 days left in the kickstarter campaign, and they’ve promised a video update today or tomorrow. If we’re still talking about wanting to see the video update on Monday, it’s probably a sign this is a farce. Of course, the contents of the video could do that also…so we’ll see. Still cautiously optimistic.

    Reply

  9. HisDivineOrder

    June 26, 2014 at 16:25

    Inevitable that this kind of thing is going to happen. Kickstarter needs to take a heavier hand in ensuring quality in their kickstarter applicants if they don’t want to have a tarnished rep.

    Reply

  10. Rory Leschinsky

    June 26, 2014 at 17:16

    I knew there was something wrong in the Kickstarter video. It almost felt like these “developers” had never played a STALKER game in their life. And why create a spiritual successor that is essentially the exact same thing with an annoyingly bright color palette? I know theres a good gaming burn in that last sentence somewhere, somebody help me out.

    Reply

  11. Tauriq Moosa

    June 27, 2014 at 09:28

    Eish.

    Also what’s “artowrk”? Some Russian thing?

    Reply

    • alcatraz5953

      June 27, 2014 at 11:49

      Try saying it in a Chinese accent, it works

      Reply

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