Despite the fact that BitComposer Games revealed yesterday that it owned the rights to the STALKER franchise, the founder of GSC Game World, Sergey Grigorovich, has released a statement saying that he still retains ownership on all the rights to the game series and the brand overall.GSC Game World impressed lots of fans all around the world with the stunning STALKER games, but the developer was forced to practically shut down at the beginning of the year, with all of its staff forming a brand new studio.
Since then, many rumors appeared about the rights to the STALKER franchise, who were still owned by GSC founder Sergey Grigorovich, some saying that Bethesda acquired them in order to complete STALKER 2, while others mentioned mysterious buyers.
Yesterday, German publisher BitComposer Games revealed that it now owns the rights to the STALKER franchise.
Now, Sergey Grigorovich released an official statement, via Kotaku, saying that the STALKER series is still owned by him and GSC Game World, not by BitComposer.
"In view of the rumors appearing in press, we find it necessary to inform that GSC Game World and Sergey Grigorovich remain to be the sole owners of all the intellectual property rights to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series and the brand overall, including all the trademarks, the game universe, the technology etc. This can be easily verified with the trademark services online," the statement said.
According to Grigorovich, BitComposer actually bought the rights to turn the Roadside Picnic book into a game, not the rights to the STALKER franchise, which is only based on the famous sci-fi book.
"From time to time news on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. brand purchase by this or that company appear over the Internet. We relate such a keen interest in the brand to its exceptional popularity. Even the purchase of rights to create a "Roadside picnic" book-based game by a small publisher is presented as the continuation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise."
"We have doubts regarding the mentioned product by bitComposer (the publisher of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat on some territories), since the latter has significant debts in terms of fulfilling the obligations under the existing contract between our companies."
As of yet, BitComposer hasn't released another statement clarifying its stance, so it seems that once again it's unclear just what is going to happen to the STALKER series.