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GSC Game World, the Ukrainian developer of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of FPS adventures, has closed down, taking the work-in-progress S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 down with it. Sergey Galyonkin, Marketing Director at GSC's Russian distributor 1C, reports that the closure is shrouded in rumor and accusatory gossip – but that the studio's big project simply wasn't shaping up as a viable contender for profitable international distribution.
While S.T.A.L.K.E.R. enjoyed international success on PC, Galyonkin says the company was unable to secure the level of distribution that would enable S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 to turn a profit. He says GSC was unable to secure deals with console publishers, and self-publishing wasn't an option. Even after the worldwide success of the original game and its subsequent add-ons, international distribution also proved prohibitively difficult to secure.
“Some say that GSC demanded incredible conditions,” laments Galyonkin; other rumors suggested that “Western publishers do not want a post-apocalyptic story from Eastern Europe.” Galyonkin also says there are suggestions that GSC CEO Sergei Grigorovich was unhappy with the game's progress and becoming (in the evocative phrasing of Google Translate) “stupidly tired.”
It's unlikely you'll see S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 any time soon now that the game's left without a home. Galyonkin admits the game could eventually resurface under a new team – but with the original developers scattered to the nuclear winds, “nothing good will come of it.” Here's a gallery of where the game had gotten to: chances are it's all you'll get...