S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developer’s future hangs in the balance

Well, so much for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. The game was originally scheduled for a 2012 release, but according to Eurogamer, it may have been canned—and the studio making it could be in the process of closing up shop.

Eurogamer says GSC Game World initially denied rumors of its closure last week, but the studio subsequently recanted the denials. The latest two updates in the official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Twitter feed leave no question that the Ukrainian developer is in trouble. The first update reads:

We will do our best to continue. However, at this moment, nothing is certain.

…and the second one adds:

Our website will continue, with the forum & tech support. The shop will continue until the nearest planned items sell out. (uploaded now)

There’s no definite word yet on what’s happening to GSC, though Eurogamer says a UkraNews story alleges, “Apparently [studio founder and CEO] Grigorovich was unhappy with the progress Stalker 2 had made, and Ukranian law enforcement was interested in taking control of the company.”

I’ll be the first one to mourn S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 if it does get canned. The game was supposed to be more survival-oriented and rife with DirectX 11 effects. Previous titles in the series—S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Prypiat and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky—featured engrossing and terrifying gameplay, not to mention an atmosphere thick enough to cut with a knife. They were a welcome break from the sea of monotonous war-themed shooters.

Comments closed
    • JohnC
    • 8 years ago

    Good riddance. The engine used in these games was capable of impressive visual effects and was fairly “modern” but the whole gameplay in each of these games was very linear and shallow, not to mention the huge amount of bugs and lack of proper optimizations in initial releases (even more so for “local” market releases). I understand that some people might be attracted to (or intrigued by) “unusual” (for them) Eastern European game’s areas/settings but I personally was not impressed by them or by the “story” in all of these games.

    P.S: “Ukranian law enforcement was interested in taking control of the company” – this is an incorrect translation, the original article (http://un.ua/rus/article/365009.html) mentions some unknown information “source” mentioning unproven rumors about uncertain “interests” (but nothing about “taking control over the company”) from unknown law enforcement agency. That can mean virtually anything – from “law enforcement agency” finding some criminal dealings of the GSC (or anyone related to that company) or someone else (who is for some reason “unhappy” with GSC) paying enough $$$ to “law enforcement agency” to intentionally “harass” the GSC until GSC “gives up”.

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    Sad if true! Although I wasn’t impressed with Call of Prypiat (and didn’t play Clear Sky), Shadow of Chernobyl was (and still is) a great game. I hope this end up being false and/or there’s some better news about it in the near future.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    I did play the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and thought it was okay, and at least it was fairly original back in the day.

    However, my experience of GSC Game World is very poor. The Cossacks series and Heroes of Annihilated Empires both showed a lot of promise, but were ultimately let down by their unpolished interfaces, lack of proper testing or further bugfixing, and reeked of “project cut short due to budgetary constraints”. HoAE is a clear case of a game that is only halfway through the main plotline when they just tack an “everyone dies” finishing move on the end, a 10-second cutscene and that’s it. Game over. All plot threads and character development just nuked and the whole incomplete saga ending there.

    I think the team had talent, so I’m sure they’ll get snapped up by a firm that can actually harness that talent. Seeing GSC Game World die is no bad thing in my opinion, it didn’t deserve to be sucessful with the business model it had.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]"Our website will continue, with the forum & tech support. The shop will continue until the nearest planned items sell out."[/quote<] -> "Our website will continue, with the forum & tech support, until the nearest planned items sell out."

    • Forge
    • 8 years ago

    “and Ukranian law enforcement was interested in taking control of the company.”

    How does THAT work?

      • ludi
      • 8 years ago

      You sort through the inventory crate in the back room, strap on your two favorites, then note that you only have three clips for each. Now decide whether you want to roll through the front door and deplete most of your current ammo supply fighting off the g-men before heading up the road, or sneak out through the back and hope one of the NPCs doesn’t give away your position.

      More seriously, I’m assuming it has something to do with the Ukranian procedures for closing a bankrupt business. Most countries don’t have a US-style bankruptcy system with possibility for reorganization and such, so if a business is on the brink of insolvency, its office may get the local equivalent of an eviction notice and a sheriff’s padlock so that the former owners can’t run away with assets that are now the property of their creditors.

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    Stalker2 was going to be a worthless console game I thought? As much as I love stalker, I will not shed any tears over stalker2 not coming out. No wonder Grigorovich thought stalker2 was sucking and decided he would rather close up shop than release a pile of ass.

    • Convert
    • 8 years ago

    “Ukranian law enforcement was interested in taking control of the company”

    Uh, what?

    • michael_d
    • 8 years ago

    They should make S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 available for pre-order, a lot of people will take the risk including myself. A hundred thousand sales will raise enough funds to continue development.

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series is my favourite game and delivers good value due to an ample quantity of mods.

    I am planning a new PC for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Metro Last Night.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      Im not sure if many would preorder from a company on the verge of closure for a game still far from release. By this point it looks like its all but confirmed they have stopped work.

        • PenGun
        • 8 years ago

        After wasting $60 on Rage I would happily throw money at Stalker.

          • Kollaps
          • 8 years ago

          You’d think the reaction to being ripped off would be to not spend money on the unknown. Nope.

      • clone
      • 8 years ago

      their has been talk that not just the police want to takeover the company but that the government is in the process of taking it over.

      in that case it does indeed appear that money or the mafia connection are likely the reasons for the closure as assets are being frozen.

      the Stalker IP is licensed outside of the Ukraine so their likely isn’t much to freeze.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    Well at least it looks like the Alan Wake PC port might be back on. Woooo for people stalking Steams registry…. crazy mofos.

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    That would be no good. I LOVE the STALKER games. Just about the only games I still play on PC. Bought all 3 of the previous titles at full retail price and they were worth every penny.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      why someone minus’d you is beyond me.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        CAUSE HE’S SAYING THE GAME WAS GOOD.

        i loved them. AND YOU KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU AGREE WITH ME?!? OSTRACIZED!

          • Glix
          • 8 years ago

          I feel like earning loads of UP votes, so…. what game do you most hate? 😀

          I’m going to take a guess and say: RED ALERT 3 WAS AMAZING AND MUCH BETTER THAN THOSE CRAPPY ONES WITH CARTOONY GRAPHICS!

          *foresees a lot of downvotes* 😛

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    I blame COD.

      • Glix
      • 8 years ago

      I blame graphics obsessed gamers, that slated the Stalker games for lack of visual fidelity.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        what? stalker has always been pretty.

          • Geistbar
          • 8 years ago

          I remember before the first one came out, lots of forums would post screenshots of it and people would be amazed and say they couldn’t tell the difference between them and real life. I can’t recall if those were extensively touched up shots or not, because I know the actual STALKER games (and all games, for that matter) are very easy to tell from reality, despite the good graphics.

            • axeman
            • 8 years ago

            Some of the mods for the STALKER games look pretty damned awesome.

            • yogibbear
            • 8 years ago

            What STALKER did you play? Sometimes when I’m not at my PC and I’m walking down the street and I hear a dog bark, or it’s raining and I see some weird shapes ahead I literally get deja vu. Then I realise I experienced the same thing in a game. Was extremely realistic when maxed out.

            • Geistbar
            • 8 years ago

            The same one as everyone else? I’m not saying it looked bad- it looked very good. That doesn’t mean I had trouble discerning it from reality. Computer graphics have always had this shininess to them that sticks out like a sore thumb (at least for me). Even if that wasn’t true, textures for less “interesting” objects- walls, the ground, boxes, etc., tend to be very flat and be a strong giveaway- for all games, not just STALKER.

            Even looking at more “interesting” objects, that tend to get better textures, such as people, will tend to have some elements- pockets, ties, buttons, hair, ears, noses, fingers, that look very bland, or are completely 2d.

            Again, it was a [b<]wonderful[/b<] looking game, but it wasn't photo-realistic. I know it's not me having good vision either, as I usually need glasses. Maybe I just have a very discerning I, if I'm alone in this? I'd like to think I'm not though.

        • kvndoom
        • 8 years ago

        Damn, when is someone going to blame piracy?

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        I have literally never heard this complaint about STALKER.

          • Glix
          • 8 years ago

          [url<]http://www.overclock.net/t/179599/stalker-looks-like-crap[/url<] TAADAA! I liked the game, just never got to the end (had guns with scopes and everything, did I get stuck or bored at some sort of radiation railway section I can't remember), can't remember why though. Honestly, ignore the voting system on here, people are thick as mince / don't bother to actually read your post.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            from your post “I just got stalker, and with graphics set to minimum,”

            • Glix
            • 8 years ago

            I never posted that, neither do I think Stalker looks bad. I was just proving the point that there are people out there that think Stalker looks bad (I’m not in that group, I thought it was very atmospheric).

        • clone
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t remember hearing this from anyone….. the graphics weren’t earth shattering but certainly they were better than average and did not look like crap.

        if you got stuck at the train station you probably walked into the building with the weeds which was rife with radiation and a bloodsucker.

        on the opposite side of the station their were several dozen flash anomolies along with pseudodogs, mercs, rats…. just started replaying the first game in remembrance.

          • Glix
          • 8 years ago

          It was very busy as I remember, picking up a plethora of weapons of the merc’s I just downed, only to be managing my pack (yes I need that rpg!).

    • wingless
    • 8 years ago

    Maybe the Metro 2033 guys, 4A Games, will merge with them and give us some good Russian gaming action. I can’t believe we may not have another STALKER.

      • Glix
      • 8 years ago

      That’s like saying maybe Infinity Ward will get back to making games with EA or Activision, did you not get the memo? 4A are former employees of GSC…

    • Faiakes
    • 8 years ago

    Damn! If it goes, there go my plans of making another onemy mods.

    shame…you can’t get that gameplay form other games.

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