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The original developer of STALKER re-opens, has a good laugh, announces new game

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

GSC Game World, the original makers of the STALKER games, is back in business, reports In a bizarre turn of events, the company that essentially self destructed in 2011 is back with a new website and a secret project in the works. Valentine Yeltyshev was interviewed by, who identified him as part of the original GSC team and "spokesperson for the studio's return."

"The market we're in is quite old fashioned," said Valentine. "They're not 16 year olds, they're 25-40 years old. We don't think free-to-play is the right model for the game we want to make. So we're making an old-fashioned, full price game, we think our audience will be happy about that. We're expecting a lot of our old audience!"

The published interview, while brief, covered issues ranging from the studio's implosion in 2011 to the ongoing attempts by West Games to crowdfund a successor to the STALKER franchise, a project of which Valentine was fairly dismissive.

"I don't really know enough about them, but the story is quite funny," Valentine said. "These guys were basically promoting themselves as being the STALKER team, that they were working on STALKER, but that's not true. When we were working on STALKER 2, we were also planning on releasing a browser game based on STALKER so we could keep the audience engaged until released.

"That project was never finished. There were mistakes. But the guys at West Games, that was the STALKER project they were working on — a Flash game. So when they promoted themselves as having worked on STALKER, I was quite surprised."

So far the crowdfunding effort for West Games' project, called STALKER Apocalypse, has received only $15,000 on its goal of $600,000 with 79 days to go.

"We would definitely win the legal action against them, but we won't start it. They used a lot of the ideas from STALKER... I don't know what they were thinking, starting that. I haven't heard from them for quite a while."

Polygon has reached out to GSC as well as West Games for comment.

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