Steamy (release) Windows (for Clear Sky)

From rubble to roubles. I don't think the Ukrainians use roubles. That's that joke knackered.

News so hot I didn’t even have time to work out a proper headline, news reaches us that STALKER: Clear Sky, GSC’s 1.5-equel to Jim’s favourite game of last year, is going to be digitally distributed exclusively through Valve’s Steam. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. In terms of business analysis, it’s another game that’s gone the Steam route… and it’s one which hasn’t even discussed how it’ll be distributed in the shops yet, since they’ve parted company with THQ. Secondly, there’s five new Clear Sky shots over on their site.

Press release beneath the cut, with Valve’s Gabe Newell calling GSC “Forward-thinking” and GSC’ Sergiy Grygorovych describing Steam as “the leading global digital distribution platform for games”. I like to imagine people quoted in press releases winking chummily to each other when they say things like that. You should try it too.


Prequel to Hit Survival FPS will Launch Simultaneously on Steam and in Retail Outlets Worldwide

January 24, 2007 – GCS Game World and Valve announce that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky will be available for digital download worldwide exclusively on Steam® (, a leading online platform for the distribution and management of PC games. The official prequel to the Survival FPS game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is currently slated for simultaneous release on Steam and at retail outlets later this year.

“Steam has introduced S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to many thousands of new fans all over the world,” said GSC Game World’s CEO Sergiy Grygorovych. “We chose to deliver the digital version of the game exclusively on Steam because of its proven success not only as the leading global digital distribution platform for games, but because it allows us to directly reach its integrated and active community of gamers.”

“It’s great to see a forward-thinking game maker like GSC Game World launching simultaneously in digital and traditional retail channels,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. “By launching S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Clear Sky on Steam on the same day that it’s available in stores worldwide, GSC Game World ensures that gamers can get their hands on this highly-anticipated game in the way that’s most convenient for them.”

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky brings the players one year prior to the events of the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game in 2011. A group of stalkers has, for the first time, reached the very heart of the Zone-Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant-and brings about a cataclysm on the brink of a catastrophe. Through a rich narrative and gripping combat action, players uncover new challenges and insights in the Exclusion Zone. A new version of the game engine, X-Ray 1.5, powers superior graphical details and realistic and non-scripted combat AI.


  1. born2expire says:

    STALKER was easily the best game of ’07, and i’ll be buying this on Steam the first day its out, i can’t wait for this.

    Good job GSC and Valve!

  2. Hieremias says:

    I’m sold.

  3. DigitalSignalX says:

    A prequel with non scripted AI… lovely. Looking forward to climbing on that watch tower in the screens and shouting “DON’T DO IT, I HAVE THE HIGH GROUND!”

  4. Alex says:

    STALKER was a fantastic game, I thought.

    I might get this on Steam, if it’s a standalone expansion, seeing as I bought the retail version of the original game.

  5. Mark-P says:

    If they’d only price it cheaper than retail. Until that happens, I cannot resist the lure of a shiny box to hold and cuddle and call my own.

  6. malkav11 says:

    It’s not an expansion, it’s a full new game, as far as I’ve heard.

  7. Garth says:

    Yes, I’m confused — do I have to buy S.T.A(fuck it)lker AGAIN, or is it just a new game, basically?

  8. Geoff says:

    Certainly sounds like a whole new game to me, not an expansion. They even mention the game engine is updated.
    I’m normally a fan, but having a bad week with Steam. I foolishly bought Company of Heroes at retail, but the expansion via Steam. They don’t seem to be cooperating, as the game still fails to recognize my purchase of the expansion and demands a CD Key that Steam never gave me. Hopefully their support will have it worked out, and I’ll return to endorsing them full steam, as it were.
    If things get better, I’ll pick up Stalker (having heard so many good things, here and elsewhere) and the expansion both via the big pipe.

  9. Cargo Cult says:

    Coincidentally, I finally finished STALKER last night – it’s been a grimy, broken, fascinating experience, and I’d love to get back to wandering around the Zone again.

    I’m a little concerned that this prequel thingy is coming out so (relatively) soon after the original game – a year’s development, instead of the protracted six-years-plus of the original. I’m hoping it’s more tidied-up and polished content that wasn’t ready for the original, rather than a rushed cash-in.

    Although if they suddenly announce a delayed release some time soon, I’ll be ever so slightly relieved… ;-)

  10. Alex says:

    I’m normally a fan, but having a bad week with Steam. I foolishly bought Company of Heroes at retail, but the expansion via Steam. They don’t seem to be cooperating, as the game still fails to recognize my purchase of the expansion and demands a CD Key that Steam never gave me. Hopefully their support will have it worked out, and I’ll return to endorsing them full steam, as it were.

    It almost seems like Steam always has problems with Relic games – I bought the Dawn Of War games through Steam and lately I can’t get the original game and Winter Assault to run anymore. I click on the icons and.. nothing happens. A LOT of people are having the same problems, according to the Steam forums.

  11. Chris R says:

    Oh boy, I better finish Stalker soon then. For some reason I’ve had a difficult time getting started in Stalker. I’ve played the beginning area up to the Bar (where Duty is stationed) about 4 times now, but always quit… I’ve finally just now gotten past that up to the Freedom base, and am about to continue the main quest. Somehow I ended up with one of those guns that the Duty guys carry around, and it has made things much easier, so maybe that had something to do with it. It is a fun game though, and looks really nice I think.

  12. Chris Evans says:

    Hmm, I may have to relive some STALKER nearer to the release of this :D

  13. Ben Hazell says:

    Woo, more stalker. Now without even leaving my room. Awesome.

  14. Turin Turambar says:

    Good news! But i will buy the game cheaper in or some site like that. :P

  15. Dracko says:

    I just hope it’s more polished and balanced than its predecessor and has taken notes from Valve’s way of doing things beyond distribution. This is interesting news, though, yes.

  16. Kadayi says:

    Definite purchase. Stalker is my no 1 recommended FPS purchase after the Orange Box.

  17. Emil says:

    Story Of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

    Now Listen Here to the Story of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
    the Rock ‘n Roll Scene in General
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Was Born Oblivion Lost
    in a Place Called McBoom
    in Mississippi About 1926
    He Moved to Chicago About 1938
    Where His Name Was Eventually Changed to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
    He Practised the Stalking Every Day and Sometimes Into the Night
    ’till His Papa’s Hair Began to Turn White
    His Pa Said Son, Listen Here, I Know
    You Can Stay But, Uh, That Stalking’s Just Got to Go
    So He Pulled His Hat Down Over His Eyes
    and Headed On Out For Them Western Skies
    I Think Bob Dylan Said That
    He Hit New York City
    He Began to Play Shmups in Harlem
    Good Scene There
    Everybody Raved
    One Day, One Night
    Came a Cadillac, Four Headlights
    Came a Man With a Big Long Fat Cigar
    He Said Come Here Son, I’m Going to Make You a Star
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Said Uh, What’s in It For Me?
    the Man Said Uh, Shut Your Mouth Son and Play the Stalking
    and You Just Wait and See
    Well, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Made It, He Made It Real Big
    and So Did the Rest of the Rock ‘n Roll Scene Along With Him
    Hey S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Hey, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)
    Oh S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Hey, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)
    Yeah S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Hey, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)
    Oh S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Hey, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)
    Yeah S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Hey, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)

  18. Homunculus says:

    Pretty much everyone I know who played the original, including myself, followed the pattern of initially picking it up, playing a bit and then leaving it for months only to give it another go and becoming utterly enthralled and ploughing right through to the end. What an excellent game it turned out to be.

    Anyroad; more Stalker, Mister Homunculus?
    Don’t mind if I do, Mister Grygorovych. Don’t mind at all.

  19. Geoff says:

    @Alex – To be fair, the Relic game seemed to have plenty of problem with itself even before Steam got in the picture. When I first installed CoH from retail, it made me register the Relic Online account in order to play my single player campaign (which irked me immensely right off the bat) and then refused the CD Key from the box.
    After several silly things like rebooting and looking at the screen askance, it suddenly changed its mind and accepted, without any logical reason for resolution.

    So I’m not sure Valve is the side to blame for this, just a fairly typical “copy-protection sucks” story.

  20. Homunculus says:

    I just have to add this: My favourite part of Stalker was meeting up with the other top five or so independent Stalkers in Pripyat and clearing the ghost town of Monolith arseholes, eventually discovering that Freedom had had a similar idea and were also giving them a good going over in a different section of the same (large) area. It looks as though Clear Sky is going to consist chiefly of this sort of faction on faction (on faction) scuffling, hopefully more in the spontaneous sort of manner that I so adored in the likes of Space Rangers 2, so read some big girlish squealing here.

  21. Dean says:

    Geoff – I bought Company of Heroes Gold which comes with the original game and expansion. To my surprise i didn’t have to use the original disc at all, just install Opposing Fronts, then put in the CD key for the original game and it unlocked the original campaign and the first two sides in multiplayer from the Opposing Fronts interface.
    Don’t know if the Steam version is the same, but if so you don’t need CoH Original installed at all.

  22. Seth Tipps says:

    From what I can tell, they aren’t really releasing NEW features, per-se, but rather throwing in all of the features originally intended for oblivion lost, editing some maps, and updating the thing for DX10. But I just can’t argue with more S.T.A.L.K.E.R. No other game could make me go through all that trouble to type it’s name and get away with it.

  23. Seth Tipps says:

    Damn it, I wrote it’s instead of its.

  24. Muzman says:

    Wow. It was a bit worrying for a while. They were going so long without announcing a publisher, even said they were self publishing. That sounded dicey. I’ve never had the impression that Stalker was the runaway success that would enable them to completely go it alone.
    Never had Steam, or wanted Steam. For this game I would get Steam.
    (I’m very happy they’ve got right back on to revisiting the game. It sounds like they’ve put back in a lot of the detail the had to take out to get the first game out the door. Companies often seem to get put off or fall apart after long development, leaving great ideas, ambitions and settings on the cutting room floor. It’s great they’re building on what they’ve made straight away.)

  25. Chis says:

    Someone tell me they’ve added an auto-walk key by now.

    Otherwise I’ll need a new middle finger before considering this. :P

  26. Zeh says:

    This is indeed a new, standalone game (it doesn’t require T.H.E. O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.). It’s said that’s an expansion of sorts because it’s set in the same place, and many “maps” are featured again.

    The way I see it, it’s probably what Stalker was meant to be originally before they ran out of time. And with a slightly different story (prequel). And I can’t wait.

  27. Chris says:

    I hope this prequel explains why the guy at the bar says, and I quote:

    “I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there. I said come in! Don’t stand there.”

    Some kinda radiation poisoning, perhaps.

  28. Zeh says:

    Why, do you prefer “Get out of here Stalker”?

    That one was the first guy I killed when I decided I’d start a mass genocide on the zone. The guy pissed me off.

    Eventually I managed to get the Bar guy too, with a grenade bounced off the walls. He never invited me in again.

  29. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Come here Stalker. I have some information that may be of use to you. Come here Stalker. I have some information that may be of use to you. Come here Stalker. I have some information that may be of use to you. Come here Stalker. I have some information that may be of use to you.

    Or something.

  30. Chris R says:

    Bwahahaha, the last 3 posts cracked me up. I grit my teeth every time I have to go into the bar because of those 2 guys. I’ve even started muting the game before going down the stairs. Is there a way to kill them without everyone else getting pissed off at you?

  31. Alec Meer says:

    This audio fix made my second play-through of Stalker significantly less infuriating.

  32. Chris says:

    I solved the problem by running full speed in and out of the bar so he’d only have enough time to say it once. But I’ll try that patch, thanks!

  33. malkav11 says:

    If it’d stop crashing when I load savegames, I bet I’d really like Stalker.

  34. Usul says:

    I truly hope they’ve added the vehicles. Why? To enhance my looting capabilities :) If I can’t loot the game is not worth playing.

    This is going to rock just as much as the first one.

  35. Devin says:

    Hey Marked One…

    I said come in.

    PS Don’t stand there.

    (I always assumed the “Get out of here” guy was telling you to keep out of the employees-only part of the bar, and was just triggered a little too far out…)

  36. Garth says:

    I still laugh my ass off when in combat and I have a guy yell (what sounds to me as):
    Awww yeah, shitty bricky!

  37. Mr Pink says:

    I picked the original Stalker up for £5 in Zavvi the other day. Impressed with it so far, although I can see why the were going to have vehicles in it originally. So much running!

  38. Paul V says:

    Hello? Hello.
    At least Sakharov sells some excellent gear to make up for his verbal diarrhoea. I used the Zone Reclamation Project mod to sort that (and a bunch of other things).
    Greatly looking forward to Clear Sky, although I wonder if it will seem rather more tame than Stalker did first time though – I hope GSC have some all-new creepy/scary effects to use.

  39. Irish Al says:

    I think this will end up being what the first one should and would have been if it had been actually finished at release.

  40. LordUbiquitous says:

    STALKER is on Steam? I didn’t know that.


    I’m not sure why, but there are several games that Steam doesn’t offer if you live outside of America/Europe (Is my guess, as to why their trailers are on there, but the games themselves aren’t.).

    Pity, as I’d buy it if I could see it, just haven’t gotten around to asking about it.

  41. Jim Rossignol says:

    I like to think of Stalker’s bar doorman as simply being very welcoming.

  42. dhex says:

    i am quite proud of my having sold at least four people on stalker since it came out on steam.

    steam is the drunk dialing of game buying. (speaking of which i should pick up deadly shadows huh?)

    there’s no release date on this yet, right?

  43. matte_k says:

    Just once, i’d love to hear him say:

    I said come in, don’t stand there! Stand there. No, a little more left…thats it. There. Now PAYING patrons can come in and have a drink, You amnesiac nameless irradiated freak.

    (To new customer): I said come in, don’t stand there!

  44. Chris R says:

    Hey Alec, thanks for the sound fix link, and for pointing me to the direction of that website. Lots of nifty mods in that place.


  45. Anon says:

    Has everyone seen the marshes gameplay video?

  46. True Religion says:

    True Religion

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great posts.