S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 canceled

Ukranian studio GSC Game World shut down and shooter sequel scrapped; developers form Vostok Games and begin work on Survarium.

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Developer GSC Game World and its postapocalyptic shooter sequel S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 have been shut down, the company announced today. Explaining the game's cancellation on its official Facebook page, the studio said its new investors were not able to reach an agreement with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. rights owners.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 may be canceled, but Survarium lives on.

In a follow-up post, the developer said that since December 2011, the full development team worked without pay on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 while new investors were sought, and ultimately never found.

Trouble for GSC Game World and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was first revealed in December 2011, when GSC Game World founder and CEO Sergei Grigorovich reportedly decided to close the studio, leaving the fate of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 up in the air. In January, the company was happy to report it was back to work on the game, but noted it needed cash, and nothing was certain.

It's not all sad news, as GSC Game World has effectively become Vostok Games, a new studio based in Ukraine. Last month, the developer inked a deal with Vostok Ventures Ltd. to finance the studio's first project, a free-to-play massively multiplayer online first-person shooter tentatively titled Survarium.

The game is set in the near future and centers on a "mass-scale ecological catastrophe" that ravages Earth. Survarium is being built using the developer's proprietary Vostok engine and is expected to be released for the PC at the end of 2013. Its first artwork is embedded above.

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are centered around Chernobyl, which suffered a nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986. In the original game, the town is subjected to a second dose of nuclear fallout, spawning a rash of hideously mutated monsters. GSC Game World released two follow-ups to the original game: Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat.

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