The series started out with the original game, entitled S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in 2007. That was followed by a prequel known as “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky” (2008) and a sequel known as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (2010).
Although this sounds like the worst news possible, it is not ALL bad news, as developers from GSC Game World left and formed a new company called “Vostok Games”, and they are already at work on their first game known as “Survarium”, a free-to-play massively multiplayer online first-person shooter.
Apparently, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 reached its sad fate after the studio and its investors were not able to reach an agreement with the company that owns the rights to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and this followed months of developers working on the game without pay, as they sought new investors. Apparently those investors were never found either… how much of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 they finished isn’t known, but one wonders what would happen if they were to start a Kickstarter project or try to raise funds online in a different crowdsourcing manner… Surely there are plenty of people out there that’d give big bucks to see the game finished and release.
As for Survarium, the game centers on a near-future earth where a “mass-scale ecological catastrophe” has left the planet ravaged and in-ruins. The game is being built using their proprietary Vostok engine and will be released for PC towards the end of 2013.
This is sad news as the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games had a huge cult-following and were critically acclaimed. I’m proud to own all three of them, which I bought in a Steam sale, and I hope I’ll get around to playing them one of these days.
Here is a developer diary from Vostok Games where they discuss the closure of their old studio and how they are moving on to a new one, and hope to keep doing what they’ve been doing. Creating excellent games!