GSC Game World, the studio behind THQ's in-development PC first-person shooter, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, has issued a formal statement in response to recent rumours of internal development issues and a possible cancellation of the game.
The rumours began circulating the Internet at the start of the week, and apparently originated from a translated Russian game magazine. The suggestion of massive job losses at the studio, issues over GSC's proprietary game technology and a strained relationship with publisher THQ has prompted the developer to set the record straight.
In a press release issued today, GSC has confirmed that the title, which has already suffered considerable development delays, is "being actively developed in close cooperation with the publisher," and is currently at the beta approval stage.
In terms of the staff losses, GSC states that only five out of forty positions have been cut. The staff reduction was apparently localised to the art section, as the work on graphics for the game is almost complete. The studio further clarified its staffing position, stating that leads, programmers and testers will not be reduced at any point.
Finally, regarding the issue over leaked proprietary technology, GSC states that none of the former staff have the right to the game's engine, and even if the current or next-generation engine appears on the net, its legal use is impossible.
GSC concluded the statement by saying that it has no intention of selling any of its technology, nor does it intend to postpone or cancel the release of STALKER, which is currently scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2006.