The Kiev, Ukraine based developer that put a dramatic spin on nuclear horror in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of PC first-person shooters has reportedly closed its doors, leaving the fate of the eagerly-anticipated S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 up in the air.
Reports of the closure of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. began this morning via a story on the Ukraine's UkraNews website. Simply citing an informed source, the website reported that Sergei Grigorovich, founder and CEO of GSC Game World, had decided to close the studio for personal reasons, suggesting either the lack of solid progress on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 or attempts by authorities to obtain the studios and its profits for themselves as the motivation behind the closure.
After that, facts get a little blurry. Rock, Paper, Shotgun have chronicled the story from the beginning, starting with a tweet denying the closure on the company's official Twitter that has since been deleted. Another Twitter user tweeted the closure of the studio, though it turns out he was not affiliated with GSC Game World.
The developer replied to inquiries from RPS with a no comment statement, not something a healthy company would do, and most recently GSC's social media manager announced that he was looking for a new job.
The most telling evidence of the closure, however, comes from Sergey Galenkin of 1c Ukraine, a company that's been involved with publishing GSC Game World's games in the past. In a blog post on his personal website he said that the developer is officially closed, the team mostly dissolved. Galenkin goes on to say that the reason behind the closure was the cost of developing a big budget PC-only first-person shooter coupled following deals for console versions that never came to fruition.
Of course none of this is official confirmation. We've reached out to GSC Game World ourselves, and until we hear official word there's still a sliver of hope. A tiny, almost imperceptible sliver.
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series might not have the largest audience, but those who've played it have come away inspired. Here's hoping this isn't the final meltdown of the beloved franchise.