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4A Games dismisses Metro 2033 engine rumours

Technology behind THQ game is not derived from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. engine, says developer

Metro 2033 developer 4A Games has moved to quell rumours that the engine that powers its new shooter is derived from the X-Ray tech found in GSC's PC hit S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Asked about the connection between the two engines by Eurogamer's Digital Foundry, 4A's chief technology officer Oles Shishkovtsov said, "There's no relationship. Back when I was working as lead programmer and technology architect on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. it became clearly apparent that many architectural decisions put into S.T.A.L.K.E.R. engine were great for the time when it was designed, but they just doesn't scale to the present day.

"The major obstacles to the future of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. engine were its inherent inability to be multi-threaded, the weak and error-prone networking model, and simply awful resource and memory management which prohibited any kind of streaming or simply keeping the working set small enough for (back then) 'next-gen' consoles."

According to Shiskovtsov, the original X-Ray code was strictly tied to the PC, and porting the engine to home consoles would have been a waste of effort.

"When the philosophies of the engines are so radically different it is nearly impossible to share the code," he said. "The final answer is 'no'. We do not have shared code with X-Ray, nor would it be possible to do so."

Controversy has surrounded the origins of the new 4A engine, as GSC founder Sergey Grigorovich had apparently claimed in the Russian games press that the tech is derived and improved from a pre-release version of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. code. Shishkovtsov and his colleague Aleksandr Maksimchuk left GSC a year before the game eventually launched.

Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.