Kickstarter for "spiritual Stalker sequel" launched
Vostock Games gets legal over developer claims to have worked on Metro and Stalker titles.
A Kickstarter campaign has just popped up for a game called Areal, a title that calls itself "the definitive spiritual successor to cult hit S.T.A.L.K.E.R." (a game that certainly wins the award of being the most annoying to type) and is being developed by new studio West Games.
A non-linear post-apocalyptic shooter with a dash of colour usually missing in such games (as shown by the concept art), the Kickstarter is asking for $50,000 in order to bring the game PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Windows, Mac and Linux (that figure seems very low considering the detail included in the pitch).
Areal is a new video game that's being developed by the people behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R. It features a massive and intricately detailed open world environment that is extremely varied and colorful, even though it's set in a post-apocalyptic setting. Areal depicts a future where civilization has fallen apart due to an unearthly material called Metamorphite, which eventually spreads, corrupts and infects the whole world. The source of Metamorphite comes from a meteor that impacted the earth long ago, and it is the site of constant conflict and bloodshed.
The campaign page says that the team consists of the "core people" behind the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, with "most of our team composed of former senior GSC Game World" staffers.
However, Vostok Games (the company that formed out of the ashes of GSC Game World - the studio that made the original series) PR manager Joe Willburn has poured doubt over the veracity of these claims, posting:
"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."
It looks like that post has since been removed from the Survarium forums, so exactly what is going on remains unclear. Some of the images included in Kickstarter campaign also feature on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. wiki, so there's obviously a potential copyright issue there if nothing else.
This is a most confusing Kickstarter pitch. A quick glance reveals an exciting and ambitious pitch, but when you also consider the counter-claims from Vostock, things start looking a little murkier.
There's also the question of the financial target, which seems incredibly low given the scope of the project. Could this campaign be too good to be true? Our advice is to wait until the situation gets clearer before putting any money in the pot.