Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has suspended funding for the controversial STALKER successor Areal.
Things appeared to be going wrong for developer West Games earlier this week when a string of bizarre events and unusual pledges mysteriously propelled it towards its funding goal.
“Our Kickstarter was suspended without any warning,” the studio said in a statement reported by Polygon. “As per Kickstarter's policy, we cannot contact them to find out why. The fact is that there are a lot of companies that make their livelihood on STALKER, so when we showed up on the scene, they saw us as a threat and did everything that they could to stop us.
“People also need to take into account that Ukrainians and Russians are in an information war right now, and as a Ukrainian developer, we were subject to constant hostility from Russian Kickstarter accounts (we even got death threats).
“Some sites, in light of this, chose to report based on sources from direct competitors or from the myriad of comments based on lies. Others chose a neutral ground, because of the confusing situation around us, and still others wrote positively about us.
“Kickstarter was afraid of the controversy surrounding our project, so they suspended funding. We set our base goal at 50K; even with 2 days left, we raised more than 64 thousand dollars, and our competitors were doing everything that they could to stop that.
“Kickstarter is a business, and that was their decision. We were not warned, we do not have a say in the matter, we cannot notify our backers, we cannot message our backers, and we can't post updates anymore. That is how Kickstarter chose to act.
Kickstarter doesn’t reveal the process behind its decision to suspend campaigns, but it seems likely that it was having difficulty getting concrete answers to its questions – in much the same was as Kotaku did in a recent interview.
The crowdfunding platform has previously said that it will move to close campaigns that “misrepresent or fail to disclose relevant facts about the project or its creator; provide inaccurate or incomplete user information; or misrepresent support by pledging to their own project”.