Back in 2007 the video game world was rocked by a small little game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. It was a fascinating open-world RPG action horror game made by game company GSC Game World. The game was before its time, as many IPs that came after it copied its dynamic world and gameplay. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was famous for its dynamic, living game world, bleak setting and VERY realistic combat.
In a sense, it was Skyrim before that game came out. It also allowed the player to affect the world around them through their choices, which led to a possible 17 different ending depending on choice and faction. Now, while many people are familiar with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, they may now know that there was, in fact, a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. #TV series planned. So, let's take a look at the video game TV series that almost was.
The game studio GSC Game World announced that it had independently funded a television pilot for the would-be series. As of 2010, negotiations were underway with Russian and Ukrainian TV networks for a series deal that, had it been successful, would see a full series produced and broadcasted across the markets of the former Soviet Union. GSC was so confident that it even had a vision for licensing the series to Western Europe and North America.
A website was created and a trailer released, which you can watch below:
While the pilot and show looked to be low budget and slightly cheesy, it really captured the feel of the game very well. The game did a great job of creating a fantasy/sci-fi world that felt very real and alive. The trailer itself was successful in creating a bleak and dangerous landscape. The trailer also excited gamers by showing that it was faithful to its source by showcasing a plethora of dark, radioactive tunnels, killer anomalies and hordes of angry men shouting at each other in Russian. While the show had a very unpolished look to it, that itself was a strength, as the game was a brutal and stark adventure — inherently unpolished and unforgiving.
Below are a few still images of the show:
So, the question remains: What happened? With a pilot filmed and actors cast, why did this show drop off the map? The answer seems to be because the game studio, GSC, officially dissolved in December of 2011. A new studio was formed by a group of former employees but it is unknown what exactly happened to the rights of the TV program and pilot. In December of 2014, GSC officially reopened its doors and began working on new gaming IPs. In the last two years there has been no word on the TV show.
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games continue to have a lively player base, and its modding community is still very active. Plus, all three of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. entries still sell well in the bi-annual STEAM holiday sales. With the IP still very popular, rumors have begun to circulate about the possibility of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: 2 being developed.
Perhaps GSC should release the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. TV pilot online or to STEAM and let the fans see what could of been. Who knows — the response could be enough to push a new incarnation of the program into production (much like how Deadpool's leaked test video helped push the film out).
In the meantime, the teaser website for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. TV show is still live, check it out here.
What do you all think? Would you like to see a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. TV show released? Let us know in the comments below!