Following up yesterday's reports that German publisher BitComposer has securued the intellectual property rights to create new videogames in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, the remaining employees of defunct Stalker developer GSC Game World have refuted the claim, asserting that GSC CEO Sergey Grigorovich is still the sole owner (via Gamasutra):
Eugene Kuchma, who works in sales and marketing for GSC Game World, told Gamasutra in an email that -- as trademark filings show -- BitComposer does not own the right to make S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video games.
Kuchma's email in full reads: "In view of the rumors appearing in press, we find it necessary to inform that GSC Game World and Sergey Grigorovich [GSC CEO] 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 picnica" 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 in some territories), since the latter has significant debts in terms of fulfilling the obligations under the existing contract between our companies.]
Will the real STALKER rights holder please stand up?