Well, to be fair, they never really closed down or anything, they just sort of dropped everything they were doing and disappeared off the radar for years. That left many S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fans a little bummed out, especially because many were hoping for a true Shadow of Chernobyl sequel. Good news then: GSC Gameworld is back from their self-imposed hiatus, and they’re making a new game.
In an interview over on Gamesindustry.biz, GSC discusses their return, the somewhat suspect STALKER game that’s currently looking for crowd funding, and briefly tease their new game.
The shutdown of GSC was caused by a number of issues, but primarily that reason was due to timing. They were halfway through development of STALKER 2 but realised that by the time they finished, the game would have felt woefully out dated.
“It was a difficult decision, because the team was working towards a full-scale game,” Valentine Yeltyshev told Gamesindusty, “but they and our CEO understood that the game just wouldn’t be at the level we wanted from STALKER 2. There was also a problem getting interest, and the right money, from publishers. We were offered funding once we reached alpha. Actually we would have been able to fund the entire development ourselves, but we still weren’t sure we’d be able to sell it once we’d got to alpha.”
Then there is the issue about West Games: a development team claiming to be making a new STALKER game. They don’t exactly own the IP to be doing so, but GSC Gameworld doesn’t seem too perplexed about them. When GSC was developing STALKER 2, West Games was working alongside them to develop a smaller, flash-based browser game to keep fans occupied while GSC finished up the main STALKER 2 title. That game, Yeltyshev says, had “mistakes” and was shelved. This didn’t stop West Games however, and they later went out on their own, claiming to be the STALKER development team. They would eventually start a crowd funding campaign for STALKER Apocalypse.
“I was quite surprised,” Yeltyshev said. “We would definitely win the legal action against them, but we won’t start it. They used a lot of the ideas from STALKER… I don’t know what they were thinking, starting that. I haven’t heard from them for quite a while.”
Finally, Yeltyshev shared a snippet of information regarding their current game project:
“We’re pretty sure about our fans. The market we’re in is quite old fashioned, they’re not 16 year olds, they’re 25-40 years old. We don’t think free-to-play is the right model for the game we want to make. So we’re making an old-fashioned, full price game, we think our audience will be happy about that. We’re expecting a lot of our old audience!”
STALKER 2? We’re pretty sure there’d be some ecstatic fans out there if GSC gave them that.