It seems that the much-delayed survival title, STALKER, could face further development problems this year, with half of the development team moved to other projects and another chunk simply sacked.
The report comes from Gamemag.ru
and is translated by GameGuruMania
. The article is worth a read, but the basic gist is that THQ appears to be extremely annoyed by the constant delays on the project and is going for a radical overhaul of the development team in a bid to get this out the door.
"Another source claims that at the end of November THQ made a decision to stop financing the development and to conduct a thorough revision to gain control over the development process. "We don't care what shape the game will ship in anymore," - said one of the THQ bosses to an IGN journalist, - "The game must ship in 2006". "
There is also the prospect that THQ may sever ties with the devlopers, GSC, and hand the title over to another development team to finish.
"Some of the developers revealed that a few months ago THQ seeked a studio ready to finish STALKER. One of the GSC programmers said that this is very unlikely: "The code is mostly not documented, they wouldn't understand a thing there.""
Undocumented code? I can hear the sound of a thousand developers groaning...
How long have we waited for this to come out? I remember it being demoed alongside the GeForce FX - years ago! It seems as if GSC are great at talking about the game, and not great at actually doing things. I mean, how much more can there be left to do? The engine has been programmed for years - it rather seems like they're very good technical people, and rubbish at management.
We can but hope that STALKER finally hits this year - but then, will we really care? After such a fragmented development and a graphics engine that no longer appears state-of-the-art, what once promised so much could end up as little more than a footnote in what promises to be a year of cracking games.
What do you reckon? Drop us your thoughts over in the forums.