S.T.A.L.K.E.R. G.O.L.D.

After six years in development, the long-awaited postapocalyptic PC shooter is finally headed to the factory. THQ exec Kelly Flock speaks.

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No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. As the headline above indicates, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has indeed gone gold. The announcement was made this evening by THQ executive vice president Kelly Flock at the company's Gamers' Day event, which is currently being held at a nightclub location in San Francisco's SoMa district.

It's been six years since Ukrainian developer GSC Game World first announced S.T.A.L.K.E.R., then called Oblivion Lost. In the intervening half-decade-plus, the game has alternatively tantalized PC gamers with its lush visuals and frustrated them with its frequent delays. GameSpot's previous coverage highlights both the ups and downs of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s long road to retail.

Tonight, Flock--speaking to a crowd of about 100 journalists--said S.T.A.L.K.E.R. will "ship in March," and online retailers are listing it as having a March 20 release. The game is rated M for Mature (blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, use of alcohol), and will retail for $39.99.

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