The Kickstarter for Areal has taken off to a shaky start PR-wise. The project has already raised more than half of the required $50,000 for the project to be successful, but many are still wondering whether the project is actually being made, or whether it is entirely a fraud. After a few days of confusion, the Official STALKER Facebook account has chimed in on the status of the project with a surprising conclusion.

Instead of summarizing everything the STALKER Facebook account had to say about the project, we’ll just give you the direct response so the message is clear on their stance towards Areal.

Official response:

As the Official page for GSC Game World, we represent the interests and intellectual property of GSC Game World. Since GSC Game World is not currently producing any games, we have generously and tirelessly supported and promoted all those Games that former GSC Employees have been involved with in the past, currently and in the future. This includes Metro 2033, Survarium, Cradle, Nuclear Union ( no longer in production ) and now Areal. This is nothing new. We also have promoted the Modding Community with major titles such as Misery, The Seed, Lost Alpha and other works. Our position is that all in the Stalker Community benefit from such a diverse and unique variety of Games. The only thing we are not tolerant about is one part of the Stalker Community disparaging another. Thanks for your understanding and support.

Users on Facebook still doubt the project, however, and have asked questions that have been lingering since the Kickstarter began. One of those questions was in regards to the low funding goal, for such an ambitious project,  that the developers are asking for.

Many Kickstarter Games have other investment. Those investors often require the project to prove and show support for their Game before it proceeds further. A Kickstarter project is launched to do that. By no means is the $50,000 a maximum amount needed. It is a minimum amount. The ability for a project to exceed that is beneficial too. Please go to the Kickstarter page to read further and fully understand this process before investing any money.

The account did agree with comments about the handling of the Areal Kickstarter campaign, saying:

We agree that West Games could have done a better job launching their Kickstarter project however their somewhat clumsy initial effort does not mean they are fake, a scam or anything than what they claim to be. With each day they are working to fix this and make a better representation of their efforts. Please be patient and keep an open mind. Thanks.

Don’t worry there’s still more. In the next response, the account defended the use of footage from STALKER in their video. I thought similarly to the way the Facebook account holder did about the use of that footage; I’m not arguing there was no reason to be skeptical, but people took that footage out of context saying West Games claimed it was “theirs”, but nowhere on their page, nor in the video, did they state that it was. You can read the official response below:

The video footage was intended to show that the people at West Games were former GSC Employees. Nothing more. They NEVER implied they were producing another Stalker Game. They NEVER implied the footage shown was what they were working on. Look at the provided art work on the Kickstarter page. Obviously Areal is featuring a brightly colored environment that looks nothing like a Stalker Game.

Finally, the account touched upon the Forbes article that made the rounds about the Kickstarter being fraudulent, which the official Facebook account for STALKER says is “incorrect”. Again, the full response is below:

Yes, this is a classic example of if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it. The internet is a great tool for spreading incorrect information since it is hard to remove. The Forbes article is several days old and based upon incorrect information. We would not be promoting Areal if we believed any of that information was factual.


 

My opinion on the subject? Well, we do have an interview lined up with the developers at West Games and it should be live relatively soon and will hopefully provide more insight into the development of Areal. We talked with the developers tonight, so they are responding to PR related things.

In my personal opinion, I believe the Areal Kickstarter is a real project, mainly due to the reason that, if it was a fraud, I’m not really sure why you’d show your face to the public that you’re stealing money from and put a target over your head. Secondly, they are providing the updates, albeit not exactly what backers are looking for, but they are attempting to fix the problem they created. Lastly, the STALKER account is apparently supporting the project and the use of its assets in the video, which was a major red flag to many as they felt misled even though West Games never explicitly claimed that the STALKER assets in the video were theirs. Their video was, according to West Games, to show you the process of developing a new game.

Like many of you I still find the project worth questioning, but if you’re worried about it being a scam or fraud, then don’t invest your money. It’s quite simple really and the Facebook account for STALKER echoes the same thing. All you can do for now, if you’re still interested in the project, is look out for the daily updates that West Games have been providing and keep asking them questions. Keep in mind they are people too, and they, from what we’ve seen from a few of their responses, are quite passionate about this project and have been on the defensive side a bit too much, rather than accepting their mistake and moving forward.

Either way, we’ll continue to bring you all the latest updates on Areal. If West Games can turn things around and get the public back on their side, this could be quite the interesting game if done right. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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5 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, accusations got out of control and are detracting from legitimate concerns. :/

  2. “the STALKER account is apparently supporting the project and the use of its assets in the video, which was a major red flag to many as they felt misled even though West Games never explicitly claimed that the STALKER assets in the video were theirs.”

    This means nothing. The facebook page is not run by GSC, but by a stalker community member. And even he has admitted he’s not sure how this is all going to turn out. He’s also friends with the Areal team.

    “Many Kickstarter Games have other investment. Those investors often require the project to prove and show support for their Game before it proceeds further.”

    This again is false. West games have finally got around to shedding some light on additional funding and there is none. They are only using kickstarter funds and their own personal money to pay for this whole thing. Which is ridiculous.

    If you are keen on this game, you should do what a lot of others have done and only pledge the minimum ($1). That way you can show your support without too much financial liability.

    Once (really, If) they release more information on the game you can then up your pledge before the kickstarter finishes.

    So far they have released 7 ‘updates’ on their KS but none answer any of the dozens of perfectly reasonable and legitimate questions pledgers have constantly been asking about this project.

  3. Still waiting to see a little more progress before I back it, the tiers are still woeful though.

  4. “While we do believe the community of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. should remain united and strong, the previously made statement does not represent the official stance of GSC Game World. The post has therefore been edited. We apologize for the inconveniences”

    https://www facebook com/officialstalker/posts/904119242947325

    That’s what I thought. :]

    1. UGH! Figure it the hell out people! ha I’m done reporting on this thing till I see something tangible. Damn.

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