GSC Game World
GSC Game World is a Ukrainian video game developer based in Kiev. Founded in 1995 by Sergiy Grygorovych, it is best known for the Cossacks and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games. GSC temporarily disbanded in December 2011, cancelling S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, before it reformed in December 2014. The studio re-announced S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in May 2018, and the game is slated to release in 2021.
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Sergiy Grygorovych (CEO)|
GSC Game World was founded in Kiev in 1995 by chief executive officer Sergiy Grygorovych (Ukrainian: Сергій Костянтинович Григорович, romanized: Serhiy Kostyantynovych Hryhorovych). By 1996, at which point Grygorovych was sixteen years old, the company employed 15 people in a two-room apartment. Early employees included Grygorovych's younger brother, Evgeniy, and Andrew Prokhorov. The company expanded to an adjacent apartment, and over the next five years, occupied five different offices, eventually employing 200 people. In 2004, GSC opened GSC World Publishing, a division that would publish GSC's games in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and in Europe, the first such being Heroes of Annihilated Empires.
In 2009, GSC began work on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. During the game's development, layoffs and attrition saw the company shrink from 200 employees to 50. It had previously been the largest video game developer in Eastern Europe. Financial services company Ernst & Young named Grygorovych "entrepreneur of the year" in February 2011. On 9 December 2011, GSC was dissolved by Grygorovych, who stated that he did so for personal reasons and promised to pay the company's employees through February 2012. The studio's financial situation played a minor role in the dissolution. GSC continued as a shell corporation to oversee the ownership of its franchise, and was, in turn, owned by Grygorovych. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was formally cancelled in April 2012.
In December 2014, GSC re-opened and announced that it was working on a new game. The company announced Cossacks 3, a remake of the first Cossacks game, including "all its original gameplay", in May 2015. The game was released on 20 September 2016. In May 2018, GSC re-announced S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 with a proposed release in 2021.
Three studios formed out of GSC's operations:
- 4A Games was founded by members of the core team behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. After the game was finished, in 2006, one the developers, Andrew Prokhorov, quarrelled with Grygorovych about wages, and subsequently left the company, alongside Oles Shyshkovtsov and Alexander Maximchuk, to form 4A Games. 4A Games has since developed the Metro game series.
- Vostok Games was formed by Oleg Yavorsky, who had been GSC's public relations manager, and most of GSC's former employees, after GSC had closed. The former GSC team set out to create a new game on par with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, but found that investors lacked the money to fund development for such a game. After lowering their ambition to a free-to-play multiplayer shooter game, the team reached an agreement with Vostok Ventures in March 2012 and founded Vostok Games that same month. Vostok Games' first game was Survarium.
- West-Games was founded in 2012, originally under the name Union Studio, by chief executive officer Eugene Kim, who had formerly been team lead and software developer for GSC. Kim had worked on GSC's cancelled browser-based S.T.A.L.K.E.R. massively multiplayer online game, while five other employees had worked on prior S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. In 2013, Union Studio reorganised as West-Games, and in June 2014, the studio launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for a supposed spiritual successor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. called Areal. The campaign was highly criticised because the studio incorrectly claimed to cover the creators of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, while the game's trailer almost exclusively used footage from previous S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. When asked to provide images from the game, representatives of West-Games provided screenshots of a landscape that was a minorly modified version of a pre-designed asset available for purchase on the "Asset Store" for the Unity game engine. Several parties, including S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod developer Misery Development, stated that the project was a scam. Of the initially sought US$50,000, Areal raised almost $65,000, however, in July 2014, two days before its campaign closed, the project was suspended from Kickstarter, with Kickstarter citing guideline violations. West-Games initially claimed to have switched to private funding, though announced another crowdfunding campaign, this time on Wfunder, in December 2014, seeking $600,000 to produce a game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Apocalypse. When GSC reformed, the studio stated that West-Games was legally not allowed to develop a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game, as GSC held all rights to the franchise.
|2001||Cossacks: European Wars||Microsoft Windows||Russobit-M, CDV Software|||
|Codename: Outbreak||Russobit-M, Virgin Interactive|||
|Cossacks: The Art of War||Russobit-M, CDV Software|||
|2002||Hover Ace||Russobit-M, Strategy First|||
|Cossacks: Back to War||Russobit-M, CDV Software|||
|2003||American Conquest: Fight Back|||
|FireStarter||Russobit-M, Hip Interactive|||
|2004||Alexander||Ubisoft, GSC World Publishing|||
|2005||Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars||CDV Software, GSC World Publishing|||
|2006||Cossacks II: Battle for Europe|||
|Heroes of Annihilated Empires||GSC World Publishing|||
|2007||S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl||THQ, GSC World Publishing|||
|2008||S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky||Deep Silver, GSC World Publishing|||
|2009||S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat||Viva Media, GSC World Publishing|||
|2016||Cossacks 3||Linux, Microsoft Windows||GSC Game World|||
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- "Казаки: Европейские войны (Cossacks: European Wars)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Venom. Codename: Outbreak". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Казаки: Последний довод королей (Cossacks: The Art of War)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Hover Ace". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Казаки: Снова война (Cossacks: Back to War)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Завоевание Америки (American Conquest)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Завоевание Америки: В поисках Эльдорадо (American Conquest: Fight Back)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "FireStarter". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Александр (Alexander)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Казаки 2: Наполеоновские войны (Cossacks 2: Napoleonic Wars)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Казаки 2: Битва за Европу (Cossacks 2: Battle for Europe)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Герои уничтоженных империй (Heroes of Annihilated Empires)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Чистое небо (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Зов Припяти (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat)". Absolute Games (in Russian).
- "Linux Cossacks 3". Blue's News. 22 June 2017.