S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Devs Threatening Legal Action Against Areal Kickstarter

Vostok Games is threatening action against the creators of the Areal Kickstarter for the illegal use of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. assets.

These threats arise from claims on the Kickstarter’s page that the developers of Areal hail from the same team that created S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

“The core people that developed the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series have come together to create a new team called West Games,” it states. “Most of our team is composed of former senior GSC Game World staff members, and now that we have our own fully independent studio, we can create the ultimate post apocalyptic video game.”

This understandably rattled the cage of the people who actually worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R., including developer Vostok Games, which was founded by former S.T.A.L.K.E.R. staffers. According to Vostok marketing manager Oleg Yavorsky, the “core” developers at West are likely anything but.

“Over the years of development of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and then Metro series, there have been literally hundreds of people involved in working on various bits and pieces, starting from beta-testers up to modellers responsible for certain weapon models,” said Yavorksy. “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?).”

West Games, in turn, has issued a response affirming that its staff includes “senior staff members” involved in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

According to Yavorsky however, the “core” claim is a small issue when compared to West’s supposed use of official assets S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in trailers and on its Kickstarter page to help promote Areal. “My biggest concern is that West Games are 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,” he said. “I guess it’s all made for the sake of getting extra publicity (which unfortunately works), but guys on Kickstarter should probably pay attention.”

West Games is asking for $50,000 to make Areal. Its Kickstarter, in turn, has raised more than half of that goal since it launched earlier this week.

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