Confusion abounds on just who owns the right to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game franchise after BitComposer (who published the third title in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series Call of Pripyet), announced that it had acquired the license to the game franchise. The deal gives BitComposer exclusive worldwide rights to all video games carrying the STALKER name… or does it? There's some question as to whether the company actually owns the rights to the game, which was based loosely on the book series Roadside Picnic, or just the books.
According to Nival Interactive they own the rights to the book series, and not the game series.
Sergey Galyonkin, director of marketing at Russian game company Nival Interactive, says that BitComposer has actually acquired the rights to Roadside Picnic. BitComposer denies this, claiming that the original creators of the game, GSC Gameworld, never held a license for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
"We hold the license for PC and video games from the Strugatsky brothers. The owner of the license was the Strugatsky brothers. As far as we know, GSC never had the license for STALKER."
Meanwhile, GSC Gameworld's former employees and founders have not weighed in on this story.
We'll have more details as they become available…