The madness surrounding the rights to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video game franchise continues as GSC Game World weighs in on BitComposer's claim yesterday that it had locked down the rights to create games based on the franchise. Yesterday the company said that it had secured the rights to create games based on the book series Roadside Picnic – which S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is based on.
"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," the company said yesterday.
But GSC Game World CEO Sergey Grigorovich says that his company remains the sole owners to the IP rights for the game and the brand. The company posted the following statement on its web site.
"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.
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."
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.