Some controversy about West Games has been stirring this morning following a forum post posted by the former PR Director of GSC and now PR Director of Vostok over at the Suvarium Game forums.  The post claims that, Areal, is a fraudulent project, or at least the information behind it is.

If you’ve watched the Kickstarter video for Areal, you’ll notice that most of the video was made using footage from STALKER, which, obviously wasn’t the best idea for the developers to use, unless they have written permission to use that footage from GSC. The forum post, which was posted on the Suvarium forums has since been deleted, but you can read the original statement here.

Oleg Yavorsky – PR Director of Vostok Games (Former GSC Game World PR Director)

“So that you understand, over the years of development of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and then Metro series, there have been literally hundreds of people involved in working on various bits and pieces, starting from beta-testers up to modellers responsible for certain weapon models. Many people came to the studio to work for a few months just for the sake of adding “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. development” to their portfolio. Frequently they claimed afterwards to be the ‘core’ developers behind the game – you wouldn’t know anyway, right?). Yet, my biggest concern is that West Games are using the footage and assets of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and representing them as their own, which is not only illegal, but simply just not right. I guess it’s all made for the sake of getting extra publicity (which unfortunately works), but guys on Kickstarter should probably pay attention”

In a new update posted by West Games regarding the controversy, they said:

We have contacted Vostok Games about their supposed claim that we are fraudulent. They say that they have no relation to that claim and have since deleted the forum topic (https://forum.survarium.com/en/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3450#wrap) wherein a moderator accused us of being fake. The Kickstarter comments section has been completely hijacked by a couple of people, and even if we comment there, our posts will be ignored and buried. Misery LTD in particular is developing another post apocalyptic video game and is stirring controversy to attract people to his Kickstarter project. I hope that you, our supporters, can see through this deliberate negativity and help us make an awesome game with Areal. Update 2 is coming later today, and will clarify things even further.

As noted in the above quote, Misery LTD, who is developing his own post apocalyptic game, has been posting almost non-stop in the Areal comments trying to point out every little detail that might cause the game to be fraudulent. While he’s providing little bits and pieces of evidence, it’s hard to take any of it seriously since he’s a competing game developer, as West Games notes.

This is a very complex situation considering the developers are using assets that are not of their own, have yet to show prototype footage except for a few small snippets in the Kickstarter video and just haven’t been very clear about the project in general with their first update posted last night.

Gameranx did some further digging on the subject and did line up some of the project’s lead developers on Linkedin and verified who they were. So, while the controversy is brewing, it’d be a good bet to wait to pledge to Areal until the developers bring an update that can better explain themselves and the project in question.

Another update for Areal is coming later tonight/tomorrow morning and we’ll be sure to bring you the details as soon as they’re made available. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with this developing story.

UPDATE: West Games has just posted a comment regarding that update on their Kickstarter page –

We are going to make a video with our team and post it in the updates section tomorrow or late night today/early morning tomorrow if you are in the U.S. Also check out the updates we’ve already posted. Thanks!

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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13 Comments

  1. Whoa!

    “[…] it’s hard to take any of it seriously since he’s a competing game developer […]”

    “Misery Dev. Ltd.” are the developers/modders behind the CoP MISERY mod and their own KS campaign ended successfully last April 27.

    1. Yup, but the game hasn’t released yet which means he’s still a direct competitor in some capacity. Another developer shouldn’t be doing everything they can to out another project and try to act anonymously about it. That’s about as sketchy as the project itself.

      1. What? They were trying to get some answers first, now they are warning people.

        1. Right, the guy was looking to get answers, but then went around making claims about the game being fraudulent and piling up all the evidence he could. Like I said, it’s noble of him, but questions will be raised when he’s a competitor.

          1. “Competitor”, you say? Their kickstarted game, The Seed, is a 2D interactive novel.

            Even though West Games said that several team members have access to their kickstarter account and they have a PR & community manager, they fail to answer crucial questions and address serious concerns that not only the Misery guys are raising.

            If Areal is not a scam/fraud, they are doing a bad job at pitching and crowdfunding. :/

          2. They’re already doing a bad job with it, that’s pretty darn obvious with the way they presented it.

            The Seed, as I said is a competitor in some capacity. It’s not directly a competitor, but it’s still a video game which makes it one. And as I said again, it’s just not professional for the developer of another game to do what he’s dong. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just not professional and will make him look bad in front of his own game.

            Plus, it also makes sense for West Games to make a video rather than spend all day answering the same questions in the comments. The video can answer all those questions in one shot and so on.

          3. I agree that whoever is handling the Misery Dev account is making them look unprofessional. On the other hand, it’s dishonest to accuse Misery Dev of “stirring controversy to attract people to his Kickstarter project” and ignore valid concerns or dismiss them as “deliberate negativity”.

          4. True, but they are addressing it so they did take it all as valid concerns seemingly. The guy just went a bit over the top with it.

          5. “[…] they are addressing it so they did take it all as valid concerns seemingly.”

            Really? Massive First Update:

            – Eugene Kim says 4A Games was formed after GSC dissolved;

            – “Regarding in-game footage”, he doesn’t say anything about actual in-game footage, and even though all we see in the short and badly edited pitch video is S.T.A.L.K.E.R. footage and a pre-made Unity demo, mr. Kim says that they “tried to convey” their development process in said video;

            – He talks about the multiplayer stretch goal, but doesn’t explain how West Games are going to make this ambitious SP game, using their own game engine (!), for next-gen consoles, Wii U and PC with a humble $50,000 budget;

            In the FAQ, they claim:

            – “Areal is in pre-alpha, and we’ve sorted out the A.I., inventory systems and many of the missions.”

            – “Since we’ve already put in a lot of work into Areal, it’s possible for us to release on many platforms with a relatively low base goal.”

            Yet, it seems that they have nothing to show.

          6. I meant the video update. Trust me, I’m as just as confused as you about what’s going on with it. I’m just not ready to count them out just yet as developers have used assets from other projects before, so its not really new. Some of the guys are from what GSC was and may have had those assets, I don’t know.

  2. Where is the freaking link to their kickstarter page? For God’s sake

    1. Sorry about that! The link didn’t update with the text when we added it in. Here ya go – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1577656602/175081935?token=a57d4a63

      1. Thanks!

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