Campaign put on ice following recent spike in pledges.
The troubled Kickstarter campaign for Areal has been suspended, shortly after it passed its target of $50k, and although no reason has been given for the move, it's likely due to the myriad of strange developments that have hampered the project thus far.
Areal has been bogged down with issues since the campaign started last month. First there was raised eyebrows at the amount of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. assets that were used by the studio as they were seeking funding for this "spiritual successor". Then there was the relatively low funding target; one might suspect that the $50k asked for was much less than would be required to make a game of this complexity.
Then, more recently, there was the alleged email from Vladimir Putin. While it can't be entirely discounted, it remains hugely unlikely that the Russian president contacted the studio and supported the project (or that, as the letter claims, his daughter backed it). The studio has also called out dissenting voices within the press who questioned the validity of their campaign (start here and work your way back for the full story), and they claim to be the victims of a concerted campaign of misinformation peddled by internet trolls.
All in all this campaign has turned out to be a bit of a mess. What we can say with certainty is that the project has run into so many problems because of a mix of real-world political events (the studio is Ukrainian, and they claim that much of the online trolling they've been subjected to has been at the hands of Russians), and the strange decisions made by West Games.
It's not clear whether this suspension is the end of Areal's campaign, and whether those who've contributed will be excused from their pledges. Kickstarter's FAQ section offers some potential insight into why they might have made the decision to suspend the project, but ultimately we remain in the dark (for the time being at least).
Perhaps the last minute spike of funding that pushed the project over the line was the reason that Kickstarter took action, perhaps it was something else, or a series of contributing factors. Either way, Areal's campaign is on ice for the time being, and the project's fate has yet to be revealed.