Un proche de GSC Game World, S. Galyonkin, a révélé hier que le studio ukrainien venait de fermer ses portes, et qu’en conséquence le projet de suite pour STALKER était annulé. La principale raison serait l’absence de financement pour une version consoles, ce que GSC ne pouvait faire seul. Et la réalisation d’une version uniquement sur PC n’aurait pas été suffisante, ou trop couteuse (un nouveau moteur de jeu devait être développé, par exemple). Une autre raison serait que les éditeurs n’étaient en général pas très intéressés par la cadre d’une Europe de l’est post-apocalyptique. Contexte qui plairait beaucoup en Russie, mais nettement moins dans le reste du monde. Voyez l’annonce de S. Galyonkin ci-dessous pour quelques détails de plus.
As this blog post was picked up by some English-speaking outlets, I thought I should add an English translation, because Google Translate does a really poor job here.
So, I wasn’t going to write about this before I could talk to Grigorovich, but he isn’t picking up phone and there is a lot of rumors around, so I’ve decided to clarify some things. I don’t work at GSC, but I know a lot of people there and here is what I got after talking to them. This is purely unofficial of course.
GSC is no more. Almost everyone is let go, only few people left and still employed. STALKER 2 project is closed.
My friends at GSC believe that the reason for that is failed console publishing deal. GSC couldn’t sign any publisher for STALKER 2 on consoles, and GSC wasn’t strong enough to do it all by itself. STALKER 2 was going to become PC exlcusive, which isn’t a great future for story-driven game.
Some say that Grigorovich demanded a lot from publishers and his terms were unacceptable, some say that publishers didn’t like setting – Eastern European postapocalypse is not that popular outside Europe. I don’t know which is true, but guess it is a bit of both.
Also, some people at GSC say that Grigorovich wasn’t happy with quality of STALKER 2, but others say it was going to be a great game and huge improvement over first one. One guy said that Grigorovich was tired of game development and no longer interested in STALKER at all, but I don’t believe it, knowing Sergey for last ten years. He might be tired, yes, but he loved STALKER.
I’ve read on Ukranews about «goverment agencies trying to take over GSC». None of my friends confirms it. It is just not possible: only thing that valuable in GSC is it’s IP and it is registered outside Ukraine. Also, I’ve heard numerous people saying that Grigorovich talked to them about closing GSC for a year now.
I don’t know what will happen to STALKER next. Grigorovich might sell or lease it to other companies: there was at some point browser-based STALKER game in production. But there is only one studio in Ukraine that can handle this – 4A Games, creators of original STALKER. And they’re not exactly friends with Grigorovich. As for other Eastern European developers (from Poland or Bulgaria) – I don’t believe they can do STALKER 2 justice. Some are just too good to work for IP that is not their own and some don’t have enough experience.