The ongoing saga of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 has taken an interesting turn, with GSC Game World developers announcing the game has been “frozen” since December. The last we heard, back in January, was that the developer was running low on funds, but at the time we were reassured that the game was still in development and the dev team was “extremely happy”.
Now though, it looks like that’s no longer the case, as a bunch of former GSC developers have jumped ship, opening a new studio: Vostok Games. They’ve also announced the first title they’re working on: A free-to-play MMOFPS entitled Survarium, which they’re describing as “a spiritual successor” to the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. As much as you might hate that term, you have to admit these guys are perfectly placed to create it.
Impassable woods advance onto cities from every side, maddened animals and birds attack industrial complexes, military structures, warehouses and power plants. Strange plants and mushrooms grow through concrete and steel. Scientists all over the world haplessly try to cope with the anomaly sprawling across the Earth with terrifying speed. Countries collapse, anarchy spreads throughout the world. Now force dictates who to survive.
While we’ve also found out that the developers are “unable to secure the IP rights to continue with the Stalker franchise,” there are some interesting theories as to just why that might be. At present, the Russians are keeping quiet, but a rumour has surfaced that the STALKER IP has in fact been handed over to Bethesda for an undisclosed sum.
Bethesda is also keeping quiet on the topic, which popped up thanks to an unverified statement attributed to GSC World owner Sergei Grigorovich. It could be just another stage in the he said / she said battle that’s already raging: Grigorovich also announced in late 2011 that he was looking to sell the company, which apparently never eventuated.
Stay tuned, folks: This one is far from over.