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September 11th, 2013, 14:43
Polygon has an interesting article about the rise and fall of GSC Game World. Included in the article is various opinions from former employees.

Sergei Grigorovich was the CEO of the largest game developer in Eastern Europe, GSC Game World.

He and his company were famous for two game series. The first was Cossacks, a set of real-time strategy games known best for its scale, pitting upwards of 60,000 units against each other at one time. Popular throughout Eastern Europe, the series made Grigorovich a millionaire before he was 25 years old.

The second series was called Stalker. Its first game, subtitled Shadow of Chernobyl, was nearly eight years in development when it was released in 2007. An ambitious blend of first-person gunplay and role-playing, it featured elements of survival horror as well as an open world that reacted to the player based on their reputation. It received outstanding reviews, both for its gameplay and its narrative, and became a hit throughout Europe and North America.

In February of 2011, while Grigorovich and his team were busy working on the fourth game in the series, called Stalker 2, Ernst & Young, a multinational financial services firm, named Grigorovich Ukraine's entrepreneur of the year. He was the first member of Ukraine's booming IT industry to earn the honor.

Ten months later, on Dec. 9, Grigorovich dissolved his company. He gave no explanation to the staff beyond "personal reasons."

While the games media flailed for answers, Ukrainian news site Ukranews posted the simple headline, "Kiev company … decided to self-destruct."

Polygon went to Kiev to map the fallout from the implosion of Ukraine's most famous game studio. From the largest triple-A developers to the smallest indie team, these are the people of the late GSC Game World and the games they're making after Stalker.
More information.
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September 11th, 2013, 14:43
Gee, same thing happened in our company. At least we had more crappy cars and salaries were a bit higher, but almost all veterans threatened to quit if they don't get a pay raise when we newbies arrived.

However there were horror stories about a well known RTS developer in our country keeping slaves - er.. "developers" - in same condition as Grigorovich did..

But then who was responsible?

Maybe the gullible employees, who were lazy and dumb enough not to rebel by making super efforts creating new portfolios and getting the hell out of those slave camps.

Curiously I had a young colleague who decided he will be a character-artist - creating human models for games - and he succeeded. Now he is working at one of the best CGI making companies in the world.
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September 12th, 2013, 08:05
Doesn't surprise me at all. A company grows, becomes profitable but the conditions for the workers deteriorate.
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September 12th, 2013, 08:34
I loved Stalker, it's a model for the direction I would like shooters to go… more open world, much less linear, and talking to characters and doing jobs for them. I was disappointed to hear there would be no Stalker 2.
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