A Kickstarter project seeking to raise $50,000 for a spiritual sequel to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise has become the target of controversy following accusations of the game being fake, falsely advertised and possibly a scam.
Areal is an open-world shooter set on a post apocalyptic earth that, according to the Kickstarter page, is being developed by the core team that made S.T.A.L.K.E.R., making it a rather interesting project for backers. However, many different sources have cast doubt on the validity of the statements, including Vostok Games’ Oleg Yavorsky, who worked for the studio that made S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. Though a forum post accusing Areal of fraud was removed, Oleg did call the claims about it being made by the people he worked with “overestimated”.
Another source was Misery LTD, responsible for the recent Kickstarter success The Seed, that went rather in-depth about why they think Areal is a scam in this post. West Games has since defended themselves against the accusations in an update, though most of the post involved them complaining about nasty comments and an attack against Misery LTD claiming they are simply trying to draw attention to their Kickstarter, despite of the fact that it was already funded back in April.
To be honest, I don’t know what to make of this insanity, but if West Games tries their luck too much, then they may be sued at some point if they really were using footage from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. claiming it was theirs or Kickstarter may just cancel their campaign. All I can really do is recommend exercising caution if you were interested in backing this game and maybe waiting until the facts become clear.