Troubled times for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise could be about to get a little less so (or more so depending on how you look at things). According to super sleuth Russian blogger Sergey Galyonkin, the highly anticipated S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 does indeed still exist, and it’s coming from Bethesda.
Galyonkin’s accuracy when it comes to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise is reliable, as he was the one to first tip off fans that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was cancelled at the fate of GSC Game World was in limbo. And he was right. Shortly after his bombshell, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was confirmed to be cancelled, and numerous staff members tied to the franchise had left the studio to form Vostok Games. Vostok is now working on Survarium, a free-to-play spiritual successor to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, retaining numerous concepts planned and developed for what was supposed to be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.
According to Galyonkin, the still functional GSC Game World holds rights to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. extended universe, and the general brand name, of which has seen numerous books and apparel items produced. However, Bethesda has purchased the rights to produce S.T.A.L.K.E.R. based video games, and apparently will be doing using their own game technology. Bethesda may pursue full property ownership a later date, not unlike as they did with Fallout.
What does this mean for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2? That depends on the kind of gamer you are. For some, Bethesda’s work on Fallout 3 produced hours of memorable gaming, further cemented by the acclaimed Skyrim. For those people, a game like this in those hands could mean great things. However for some others, mostly those disappointed by the streamlining and conservative design of Fallout 3 and Skyrim (along with Oblivion), there is a concern that Bethesda will not be faithful to the roots of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise which are, as anybody familiar with the series will attest to, quite unforgiving and brutal.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, this report is currently only a rumour. Until an official announcement is available, anything can happen. But if Galyonkin’s report history remains as consistent as it has been so far, then we’re betting we’ll see S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 from Bethesda in the not-too-distant future.