S.T.A.L.K.E.R. rip-off Areal is back, now even more blatant than before
Back in June, we reported on a game called Areal, which was a kickstarter project that claimed to be a spiritual successor to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise made by members of the original team behind that series. It was quickly cancelled when the actual team and other studios called this claim into question.
After rethinking the project, developer West Games decided to give it another shot and changed Areal into Stalker Apocalypse; the logo uses bolts between each letter to make it look like an actual S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game. The project now also uses a new funding platform called “World Wide Funder“, which according to Nichegamer offers no protection for backers. The team is now also seeking $600,000, as opposed to the $50,000 they requested last time.
There are many things iffy about this project and the decision to move it to a less-experienced crowdfunding site with looser rules is definitely one of them. Also, when asked if West Games thought the new name might give them trouble, the studio responded with: “We have registered a trademark for Stalker Apocalypse, and have every right to use it as our title. Stalker by itself is a common word, and anyone can use it.” While this itself is true, the logo is clearly designed to be deceptive and could be disputed by the actual holder of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. copyright. The kickstarter is set to run for 90 days and has already amassed $4,000 dollars from a total of 105 backers.