The group behind failed STALKER successor Areal has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a very similar looking game entitled STALKER Apocalypse.
West Games is this time using a funding platform called World Wide Funder, which was only recently established. It also allows developers to keep whatever cash has been pledged at the end of the campaign, regardless of the total raised.
At the time of writing the project stands at $7,481 from 172 backers.
STALKER Apocalypse is a new story driven first person shooter that’s being made by our studio, West Games,” the pitch reads. Our team is made up of ex-STALKER developers and other talented team members. We were formerly developing a game called Areal, but after raising funds on our website and listening to our fans, we decided to re-focus our vision, and develop what is now STALKER Apocalypse (trademarked).
STALKER Apocalypse features a unique story and plenty of familiar elements that will undoubtedly please our fans. There will be single player, multi player and split screen game modes. Stalker Apocalypse is being developed on Unreal Engine 4, and will be released on PC (Windows, Mac) and console (Xbox One, PS4) platforms.”
The assets on show are the same as those used for Areal, and Oculus Rift support is promised.
Of the game, West asserts that it has registered a trademark for Stalker Apocalypse, and have every right to use it as our title” and that Stalker by itself is a common word, and anyone can use it”. Note the lack of full stops in the name (as were seen with the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R). Then note the screw placement in the game’s logo.
The Areal crowdfunding campaign descended into chaos last June, with rival studio Vostock Games accusing West Games of using the STALKER brand illegally. West hit back and the game did in fact meet its targets, although not before an allegedly hoaxed letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin was publicly aired.
Kickstarter eventually suspended the project, however, with West blaming tensions surrounding the Russia-Ukraine political situation for much of the online unrest.