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Areal Kickstarter controversy continues

Multiple sides weigh in on discussion around "fraudulent" claims.

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More claims and counter-claims regarding the recently listed Kickstarter pitch for Areal (dubbed the definitive spiritual sequel to Stalker) have been doing the rounds since we covered it yesterday.

First up there's this: a Unity 3D tech demo that makes a brief appearance in the Areal Kickstarter pitch, alongside footage taken from the original Stalker games. Particularly odd because West Games repeatedly stress that they're working with a proprietary engine.

Then there's the email sent to VG247 by Vostock Games' Oleg Yavorksy, who wrote that he feels that some of the claims made by West Games are fraudulent.

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?).

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.

As we pointed out yesterday, West Games has already used concept art from the Stalker Wiki, claiming it as part of their Kickstarter pitch.

West Games' Eugene Kim posted this response to Vostock's initial threat of legal action on the Kickstarter page, at the same time drawing attention to Misery LTD (who're making their own post-apocalyptic shooter, and who are openly calling Areal out by stating that it's a scam).

We have contacted Vostok Games about their supposed claim that we are fraudulent. They say that they have no relation to that claim and have since deleted the forum topic ( wherein a moderator accused us of being fake. The Kickstarter comments section has been completely hijacked by a couple of people, and even if we comment there, our posts will be ignored and buried. Misery LTD in particular is developing another post apocalyptic video game and is stirring controversy to attract people to his Kickstarter project. I hope that you, our supporters, can see through this deliberate negativity and help us make an awesome game with Areal. Update 2 is coming later today, and will clarify things even further.

You can read more about the claims being made by Misery LTD on their blog. In a post by West Games this morning, they repeat their position that Misery LTD is spreading misinformation.

As we've mentioned before, a former S.T.A.L.K.E.R. modder and current creator of a similar post apocalyptic Kickstarter project has been flooding our comments with negativity and misinformation, and then using various accounts to promote his game, called Project Seed. This is what we in the industry call guerrilla  PR... We are taking appropriate measures to combat this.

We hope that this negativity stops, and we want to be supportive as well as constructive towards our peers and colleagues. Stay tuned for the video update!

As it stands this already goes down as one of the messiest Kickstarter projects in history. We'll keep digging and update you with more as soon as have further details.


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