After having their Kickstarter suspended for suspicious activity, West Games has taken their funding campaign for Areal into their own hands.

They are blaming everyone from other game developers, to journalists, to even Russia itself as to why their Kickstarter was suspended. They put up an amusing explanation on their Facebook page detailing their thoughts on the Kickstarter suspension.
Official Statement:

Our Kickstarter was suspended without any warning. As per Kickstarter's policy, we cannot contact them to find out why. Areal is the spiritual successor to STALKER, in terms of our vision for it and in terms of the team that we have (which includes Alexey Sytyanov, the lead game designer and screenwriter for STALKER). You can find out more about us and our team on our website: http://areal.west-games.com/

From the very beginning, we showed what we have accomplished, and showed the atmosphere for what we want to accomplish (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTMt...k4rtG6q_SfsOYQ).

The fact is that there are a lot of companies that make their livelihood on STALKER, so when we showed up on the scene, they saw us as a threat and did everything that they could to stop us.

People also need to take into account that Ukrainians and Russians are in an information war right now, and as a Ukrainian developer, we were subject to constant hostility from Russian Kickstarter accounts (we even got death threats). There are over 16,000 comments on our Kickstarter, which is unprecedented for the amount of supporters that we have, and a lot of our comments are hate filled. Some sites, in light of this, chose to report based on sources from direct competitors or from the myriad of comments based on lies. Others chose a neutral ground, because of the confusing situation around us, and still others wrote positively about us. All in all, more than a 1,000 news results come up when you type in "Areal Kickstarter" on Google.

After vice news wrote an article about us, people started contributing every minute, but Kickstarter was afraid of the controversy surrounding our project, so they suspended funding. We set our base goal at 50K; even with 2 days left, we raised more than 64 thousand dollars, and our competitors were doing everything that they could to stop that. Kickstarter is a business, and that was their decision. We were not warned, we do not have a say in the matter, we cannot notify our backers, we cannot message our backers, and we can't post updates anymore. That is how Kickstarter chose to act.

We are the creators of STALKER, and we know that we can make Areal even better than that series, because of advances in technology, gameplay mechanics, and story. We need your support to make that happen, so we have opened up a website wherein we will continue to raise funds. We ask all supporters of Areal who read this, to please head over to our site and contribute there. PayPal is used for safe checkout, but you do not need a PayPal account to donate. Thank you for your understanding.

I bolded a few key points in the above statement.

Unfortunately for them, while West Games has consistently avoided the truth, the journalists that have investigated into their funding campaign have been nothing but truthful. The only remarks made about the game came from statements made by West Games themselves either through Kickstarter, through their actions, or through direct questions to staff at West Games.

Their remarks about how this is all because of Russia and others that felt threatened by this game are laughable, at best. Even their comment that they are ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers is only loosely based in reality.

In addition, West Games has taken to deleting any and all negative comments made about them or Areal. This includes deleting multiple Tweets where replies were overwhelming negative and calling them out as being a scam. This includes deleting multiple replies to their above Facebook statement. Out of curiosity, I refreshed their Facebook page every so often. At times I would see negative reactions to their statements and links that pointed out how one of the West Games members pulled this exact same scam in the past. All of those negative remarks have been deleted by West Games, leaving only two (as of this writing) comments remaining. Coincidentally, those remaining comments have been the only positive comments that were made in support of West Games.


That link to reveal the additional comments does not actually show any other comments. Those four additional comments (along with numerous others), have been deleted by West Games.

I mentioned briefly how they removed posts that contained links showing how one of their staff members pulled this same scam in the past. It was a link to a NeoGAF post from Zodzilla that detailed how Max Kovtun pulled this with something called Space Pioneer. Here is a copy and paste of that NeoGAF post.
That's the thing with cons... THERE IS NO GAME. THERE NEVER WAS A PLAN FOR A GAME, THEY ARE TRYING TO TAKE PEOPLE'S MONEY.

Max Kovtun did nearly the exact same thing with Space Pioneer.

They set up a kickstarter with stolen "concept art" and masturbatorial fan keywords for a game many people will want to see. In the case of Space Pioneer: "Civilization, XCOM, Sim City, and Wii U." I highlight WiiU because they know that's a crowd that's easy to convince to fund a game (even though the dev kits alone wouldn't be affordable with their current budgets). In the case of Areal "STALKER and WiiU".

The entire thing folds, and then they push people to "donate to us directly via Paypal" or by submitting your credit card information directly. All in the name of "we're committed to creating this game."

Then they go away with your non-kickstarter donations and come back later to create a new scam.

Here's the Space Pioneer kickstarter that Max Kovtun formerly funded prior to creating the Areal scam.


After that kickstarter folded, they diverted people to their website to "pledge"



Now they've recently (note: odd how this is within the recent timeframe that Areal was having issues) put up a note in the Space Pioneer kickstarter about how they're creating a new game called "Project Tool" which has a trailer that's oddly the same as a movie that has a totally different website.

Before the Space Pioneer scam, Max Kovtun attempted to scam people with another campaign for a nuclear energy space station. That goal was also just $50,000. Areal now marks the third time he has tried to receive money from the unsuspecting public.

West Games has not responded to a request asking why they are removing and deleting comments from their Facebook post.

For additional background information on the Areal scam, feel free to read earlier editorials made on the subject at hand: