The rumors that Bethesda would swoop in and buy the rights to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. have turned out to be false. Today publisher bitComposer Entertainment announced that they've acquired the exclusive rights to the post-apocalyptic shooter series.
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series is set in the area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In the series' timeline, a second meltdown turns the region into a desolate, radioactive wasteland filled with mutants and other strange phenomena. The few remaining humans are divided into different warring factions, each with different agendas. The titular S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s are lone treasure adventurers who brave the dangers of "The Zone" in order to find valuables.
GSC Game World, the studio responsible for the first three games in the series, was working on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 last year. However, the development team was laid off and the game was put on hold. The team went on to create their own studio, with the goal of creating a post-apocalyptic MMO.
Sergiy Grygorovych, founder of GSC, allegedly announced the sale of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. license to Bethesda in April. However, GSC denied any sale took place. The rumor was resurrected in July by a Russian blogger, but that was the last we heard of this supposed deal.
bitComposer, in retrospect, seems like a much more plausible buyer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. The Germany-based developer actually published S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, the third game in the series, in the US and Europe.
“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a reputable brand with a long history of success. To date, the series has sold many millions of units worldwide,” said Wolfgang Duhr, a member of the bitComposer Entertainment AG executive board. “Naturally, we’d like to tap into the success of this series, and we see a great deal of potential for the future.”
bitComposer says that they'll announce additional details on their plans for the series soon.