Geiger counters are starting to tick in the RPS treehouse, indicating yet another return to video gaming's favourite corner of Ukraine. The next Spintires expansion will be Chernobyl, Oovee Games announced today, sending us to haul logs around the irradiated Exclusion Zone. I would not sit on that pine furniture. Curiously this paid DLC is for the original release of Spintires, not its separate revamped continuation MudRunner. Spintires, if you're unfamiliar with the stuck-in-the-mud simulator, is a gritty version of Death Stranding starring dirty gert trucks instead of Norman Reedus and his bottlebaby.
The Chernobyl DLC will feature areas of the real-world Exclusion Zone including the nuclear plant, the city of Pripyat, the spooky radar wall, and the Red Forest. Apparently logging is go in the Zone and we'll be there, hauling cargo around while having to keep an eye on the Geiger counter to dodge vehicle-damaging radiation. Because getting stuck in the mud wasn't enough of a challenge.
Spintires: Chernobyl is coming to Steam on December 13th. No word yet on the price.
I am surprised to see the original Spintires back on the road. Publishers Oovee and creator Pavel Zagrebelny had a public bust-up in 2016, including (apparently unfounded) rumours of sabotage and accusations of unpaid money and poor communication. The game seemed to be left to rust, with updates ending. Then in 2017, Focus Home Interactive announced Spintires: MudRunner, a revamped and expanded separate release which has since spawned new expansions and spin-offs. Focus told us back then that Zagrebelny was "the vision holder & lead dev" with MudRunner developers Saber Interactive.
Oovee actually revived their Spintires earlier this year. They resumed patching in April and have released paid DLC in October, though the journey hasn't been simple. In August, Oovee said a copyright claim filed with Steam "by an unverified individual from Russia" got the game temporarily pulled from sale. Nothing's simple with this game.
I have no idea what's going on with the Spintires rights. I don't know exactly who's making what and where. It's still not quite clear what even happened between Oovee, Zagrebelny, and Focus. I've asked Oovee and Focus Home for comment.