*UPDATE* Areal developer West Games addresses fraud claims
Posted: 26.06.2014 09:37 by nickhorth1 Comments: 1
*UPDATE* West Game has released a video update on their Kickstarter blog featuring the team sitting down in some chairs. This isn't really the proof skeptical backers require.

"People in the Kickstarter comments section have been saying that our team is fake, and that our Kickstarter is a scam,"
reads an accompanying post. "Hopefully the video shows that we're real... We fully understand that Misery LTD and people associated with them are flaming a witch hunt against us, and trying to discredit us at every chance that they get, whilst promoting their own post apocalyptic video game."

"It's very hard to see people associated with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise perpetuating lies and biased misinformation with the purpose of attracting people to their own post-apocalyptic video games," studio founder Eugene Kim wrote in an email sent to Eurogamer. "It's even harder for us to see that misinformation posted as fact."

Which is all very well, but the developer really needs to show some kind of in-game footage or evidence of a development process to reassure worried backers and skeptical fans. We'll get back to you if they come up with something.


In a Kickstarter blog post Areal developer West Games has addressed claims from fellow studio Vostok Games and mod team Misery LTD that their project is fraudulent.

“We have contacted Vostok Games about their supposed claim that we are fraudulent," reads the post. "They say that they have no relation to that claim and have since deleted the forum topic wherein a moderator accused us of being fake."

"The Kickstarter comments section has been completely hijacked by a couple of people, and even if we comment there, our posts will be ignored and buried. Misery LTD in particular is developing another post apocalyptic video game and is stirring controversy to attract people to his Kickstarter project. I hope that you, our supporters, can see through this deliberate negativity and help us make an awesome game with Areal."

Misery LTD certainly aren't shy about expressing their opinion on the Areal project. In a post on their website titled 'Areal is a Scam', the mod team raise several questions about the legitimacy of West Games.

"Any Kickstarter pledge to AREAL is directed towards a ‘Leonid Kovtun’," write Misery, "Who is Leonid Kovtun? What is his role in the project? and why is his name not listed on the main page? All these questions are relevant and important, because Amazon Payments authorized the future pay in benefit of that person, Leonid Kovtun, a natural person and not a company or brand. Additionally, West Games is based in… Las Vegas?! How far from claimed team nationality can we possibly get here? West games was only reserved as a company name on May 20 2014 and will expire 20th of August 2014 by Leonid Kovtun of Nevada, Las Vegas."

Vostok Games, meanwhile, has already registered their concern about the project. In a further statement to VG247, marketing manager Oleg Yavorsky suggested that since the developmental staff roster for S.T.A.L.K.E.R was so huge, there were plenty of people who could claim to be core team members of the project without actually having contributed a great deal.

“Yet, my biggest concern," said Yavorsky, "is that West Games are using the footage and assets of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and representing them as their own, which is not only illegal, but simply just not right. I guess it’s all made for the sake of getting extra publicity (which unfortunately works), but guys on Kickstarter should probably pay attention.”

West Games are promising a further video update soon that "will clarify things even further". We'll keep an eye out for further developments on this story.

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