Even Putin couldn’t save the Areal Kickstarter from being suspended earlier today but that’s not the end of the crowd funding.
On Tuesday afternoon we reported that the West Games Kickstarter for their “spiritual successor to STALKER” had been suspended by Kickstarter. There was no reason given by Kickstarter, as they are not obliged to provide one, but after all the controversy surrounding the project we were not surprised.
But hold on! Crowdfunding is back as West Games announced that the funding is now being moved to their own website. As of writing the West Games site is down which means they have either been flooded by new backers or the amount of press this has received has killed the server hamsters.
The statement from West Games regarding this new funding avenue reads as follows.
We are restarting funding directly via our website, so please check it out and support us there: http://areal.west-games.com/
Our Kickstarter was suspended without any warning. As per Kickstarter’s policy, we cannot contact them to find out why. Areal is the spiritual successor to STALKER, in terms of our vision for it and in terms of the team that we have (which includes Alexey Sytyanov, the lead game designer and screenwriter for STALKER). You can find out more about us and our team on our website: http://areal.west-games.com/
From the very beginning, we showed what we have accomplished, and showed the atmosphere for what we want to accomplish (https://www.youtube.com/watch…).
The fact is that there are a lot of companies that make their livelihood on STALKER, so when we showed up on the scene, they saw us as a threat and did everything that they could to stop us.
People also need to take into account that Ukrainians and Russians are in an information war right now, and as a Ukrainian developer, we were subject to constant hostility from Russian Kickstarter accounts (we even got death threats). There are over 16,000 comments on our Kickstarter, which is unprecedented for the amount of supporters that we have, and a lot of our comments are hate filled. Some sites, in light of this, chose to report based on sources from direct competitors or from the myriad of comments based on lies. Others chose a neutral ground, because of the confusing situation around us, and still others wrote positively about us. All in all, more than a 1,000 news results come up when you type in “Areal Kickstarter” on Google.
After vice news wrote an article about us, people started contributing every minute, but Kickstarter was afraid of the controversy surrounding our project, so they suspended funding. We set our base goal at 50K; even with 2 days left, we raised more than 64 thousand dollars, and our competitors were doing everything that they could to stop that. Kickstarter is a business, and that was their decision. We were not warned, we do not have a say in the matter, we cannot notify our backers, we cannot message our backers, and we can’t post updates anymore. That is how Kickstarter chose to act.
We are the creators of STALKER, and we know that we can make Areal even better than that series, because of advances in technology, gameplay mechanics, and story. We need your support to make that happen, so we have opened up a website wherein we will continue to raise funds. We ask all supporters of Areal who read this, to please head over to our site and contribute there. PayPal is used for safe checkout, but you do not need a PayPal account to donate. Thank you for your understanding.
This is another odd statement as it starts with Kickstarter giving no reason and ends with Kickstarter apparently being “afraid of the controversy” surrounding the project. At this point we’re not really buying into the comments about competitors in Russia trying to sabotage this project, West Games have managed to do that all on their own with some terrible PR statements and releases since the funding on Kickstarter began.
If the game is going to be made then well done to West Games for sticking to their guns but sadly the Areal name is now rather tainted.