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Former STALKER devs clash over spiritual sequel claims

A band of ex-GSC Game World staffers, who worked on multiple titles in the STALKER open world series, have formed a new studio with the aim to create a spiritual sequel to the popular series.
A band of devs who supposedly worked on titles in the STALKER open world series, have formed a new studio with the aim to create a spiritual sequel to the popular series. West-Games says that it is a Las Vegas-based company with senior members who have worked on the STALKER series, as well as titles like Metro Last Light and World of Warcraft. West-Games plans to create games for multi-platform using the Unity and Unreal Engines. The studio's first game is Areal, a spiritual successor to the STALKER franchise. A Kickstarter for the game has made $27,000 in around 12 hours, with a target of $50,000. Areal will be a single-player, story-driven game. More details can be found on the Kickstarter page. [Update: Joe Mullin, PR manager at Vostok Games, claims that West-Games is not former STALKER and Metro devs. Vostok Games was formed in 2012 out of the ashes of GSC Game World. Mullin says that West-Games is nothing to do with GSC or the STALKER series, noting, "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." Gamasutra has contacted West-Games for clarification. This isn't the first time there has been a dispute over the STALKER franchise -- in 2012, BitComposer Games claimed it had bought the rights to the license, while GSC Game World later said this was not the case. Update 2: Vostok PR manager Oleg Yavorsky has told Eurogamer, "My biggest concern with West-Games is using the footage and assets of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and representing them as their own, which is not only illegal, but simply just not right." And he added of the claim that West-Games staffers' previously worked on the franchise, "So that you understand, since the long years of development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and then Metro, there have been literally hundreds of people involved in working on their bits and pieces, starting from beta-testers up to modellers responsible for certain weaponry models. "Many people came to the studio to work for a few months just for the sake of adding S.T.A.L.K.E.R. development to their portfolio. Frequently they claimed afterwards to be the 'core' developers behind the game - you wouldn't know anyway, right?"]

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