The dispute between S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developer GSC Game World and controversial new studio West Games continues – although GSC is confident its rival's project will never live up to its claims.
Here's a quick recap: West Games attempted to fund a new STALKER-like game via Kickstarter called Areal, but the appeal was suspended. The studio then launched a new crowdfunding appeal for the lawyer-baiting STALKER Apocalypse on mysterious new crowdfunding platform World Wide Funder, with an unclear relationship between the two firms.
Speaking to Polygon, PR director Valentine Yeltyshev said West Games do not have the staff or resources to make the STALKER game that series fans have come to expect, and further questioned the studio's crowdfunding methods.
"They are trying to steal money from people with this crowdfunding website," he said. "With Kickstarter first… and now they are using some weird, other platform. Who is so stupid as to give them money?
"These guys do not even have an adequate team to make a game half as big as the original STALKER, let alone a full game."
According to the World Wide Funder page, 289 backers are supposedly "stupid" enough to fund the game and have pledged a total of $16,126 towards its $600,000 goal. Unlike Kickstarter, World Wide Funder reportedly lets creators keep any money raised even if the goal is not reached.
Yeltshev once agan reiterated West Games claims to the STALKER franchise, stressing that they worked on a cancelled Flash-based game rather than the original games.
West Games claims it has trademarked its version of STALKER – although one legal expert questions whether this will hold up. GSC Game World previously said it will not start legal action against West Games, but Yeltshev has now told Polygon that GSC will not hesitate to do so if they attempt to bring the rival STALKER to market.