After initial goodwill for West Games’ intended STALKER successor took its Kickstarter campaign beyond $30,000, the project seemed stuck fast in mud slung by former GSC Game World staffers - who called West Games' credentials into question.
But thanks to a couple of unusually generous backers - and an unlikely ally in apparent Areal supporter Vladimir Putin - the would-be survival shooter has more than met its target.
Nearly $12,000 of Areal’s now $64,000+ total arrived on Saturday, when just two new backers joined the project. And a further $14,000 appeared on Sunday, despite the fact that Kicktraq showed no new pledges that day. As Eurogamer point out, It’s possible that either a previous backer raised their donation, or a new pledge replaced a cancelled one.
The sudden splurge of funding coincides with an upsurge of pro-Areal spam in its Kickstarter comments section.
Could enthusiastic oligarchs be behind Areal’s last minute boost? A possible Areal endorsement from Vladimir Putin, taking a break from an otherwise very busy week, would appear to suggest so.
“It’s important that our people do not shoot at each other, but instead, play games like this,” wrote the man who would be Putin.
“The first part of STALKER took place in Ukraine, and in the second game Areal, you put all events in the center of Russia - and if this is a war with mutants in a video game, then that is very interesting. I attentively familiarized myself with your idea and I really like it.”