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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. delayed until May 2005
15:57:37 Friday, 29 October 2004

Following the internal evaluation of the game performance and the huge undertaking required to test the product, the company submitted a request to the game's worldwide publisher THQ INC. asking for additional time.

"We're extremely grateful to THQ INC. for allowing us the time we feel will allow S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow Of Chernobyl to achieve its true potential" stated Oleg Yavorsky, Senior PR Manager for GSC Game World. "With the game expectation bar set so high and the team so close to achieving their ambition, we didn't want to rush the product out, and will work now on ensuring it is stable, balanced and fun-to-play on every level before releasing it to THQ INC. for manufacture. It is a hard step to take. Ultimately, I think it is a reasonable thing to do, although, I know it may disappoint our fans who have waited patiently for the game's release. All we can do is re-assure the public that we will the use the time wisely and the end result will be worth waiting for".

As it is well documented, one of the key game features is its ambitious 'life simulation' system, which controls the entire populous of the open game world. Due to its complexity, this appears to be the most time-consuming feature to implement and perfect as well as being time intensive to test, taking into account that the game monsters not only have full life-cycles working (including hunting, feeding, resting, sleeping, combat etc), but also migrate from level to level, all independently of the player's actions. With NPCs it all goes on at an even more complex level, by which they not only live in the game, but also accomplish quests, communicate, trade and fight, in the same way as the player.

Therefore, an additional time buffer will undeniably be useful for GSC to carry out a more extensive testing of the game universe and its mechanisms.

It is also worthwhile mentioning that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is the first game built on the new X-Ray engine and the additional development time will ensure technology stability and the perfect functioning of all its components.

We would like to reassure the community that the development team applies every effort possible (and sometimes impossible) to deliver the game to the highest level as early as feasible. It is exciting for us to realize that most of the features initially announced and some requested later by the community have been implemented in the game, and it is just the testing and debugging which remains to be accomplished. We very much appreciate your support and loyalty to the game through all this time as they are pivotal and valued by every member of the team. We also count on the community support with the upcoming game beta testing, in this way we all can ensure the game shows up as soon as possible.

To confirm our hard work on the game, please, check out the latest in-game screenshots on the official game web-site.

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