Last year we reported on the unfortunate demise of S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2. The game, and GSC Game World became null and void after its owner decided out of the blue that he was no longer interested in game development. For a while nothing was heard from anybody at GSC, but the Official STALKER Facebook and Twitter profiles have been active since earlier this year and today they dropped news of a new studio (and game) formed by ex-GSC staffers.
Vostok Games is a new independent studio formed in Ukraine by vetrean developers from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series. The new company writes on their site, “we did not reach [an] agreement with the rights owner regarding the use of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. brand, that’s why we made the decision to move forward as an independent studio with a new project. That day became our starting point for Vostok Games.”
Their new title is a spiritual successor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Titled “Survarium”, it will focus “on a mass-scale ecological catastrophe on Earth, the reasons behind vaguely known.” I’m sure every S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fan (myself included) is unbelievably excited for this announcement. The next part however, I am hesitant about.
Survarium will be a free2play MMOFPS, and not a single-player focused FPS like the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series was. “The game is developed with a new proprietary Vostok Engine technology and is planned for release on PC at the end of 2013.” So it seems that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. license as well as the X-Ray engine has been retained by Sergiy Grygorovich (founder of GSC), unfortunately.
Even though the game has just been announced an hour ago, Joe Mullin on Twitter has already released some more details about the game. “The entire team that was working on S2 is now working on Survarium,” he says, and “It will be more than just MMO,” Survarium “will be both Multiplayer online and Player vs the game world.”
A developer diary in Russian (with english subtitles) has been released on Youtube. “It explains why Stalker is no more, the future of Survarium and The Zone!”
The name Vostok Games comes both from the “Vostok 1” the first apparatus to take a man around Earth’s orbit, as well as their investors, Vostok Ventures, a capital firm that funds companies in Russia and Ukraine.