It was a sad, sad day when developer GSC Game World closed its doors and ceased development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. However, there might still be hope for the franchise, as Skyrim developer Bethesda has allegedly acquired the necessary rights to develop the next S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game.
This news comes from Ukranian blogger Sergey Galyonkin, who also outed the cancellation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. A “reliable source” spoke to Galyonkin, claiming that while ex-GSC Game World head Sergei Grigorovich owns the rights to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Bethesda will be given the ability to make and publish a game in the series. Galyonkin also suggests that Bethesda could acquire the rights to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe, as they have done with the Fallout series.
Part of the agreement allows Bethesda to make the game using their own technology, namely the Creation Engine powering Skyrim. Galyonkin was unable to learn any specific details about the game, such as whether or not Bethesda will pick up development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 or create a new game from scratch. When asked about its possible involvement, Bethesda gave Rock Paper Shotgun the obligatory ”no comment.”
GSC Game World developed the original two S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat, prior to its closure earlier this year. Veteran staff members subsequently went on to create Vostok Games. Because Grigorovich chose not to join Vostok, the studio could not continue work on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 - which was in development at the time of closure - and instead began development of a new game called Suvarium.
Some fans may have preferred that 4A Games – developer of the Metro games – take over the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, as the studio was founded by ex-GSC Game World employees. While Metro does harken back to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, Bethesda is unquestionably a solid candidate given their success with Fallout 3. The latest Fallout game shares some similarities with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, and the developer’s ability to create large, engrossing worlds should have players feeling right at home.
Ranters, are you in favor of Bethesda developing a new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game, or is there another studio you’d prefer? Let us know in the comments below.
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyMole.