Areal Kickstarter Funded…By Putin??


Against everyone’s assumptions, it looks like the Areal Kickstarter finally met its goal. This is a fairly amazing feat, considering bad press and undelivered promises combined to keep them locked at a steady (and slowly declining) 35K of their 50K goal. Well, that goal has suddenly and miraculously been met, thanks to…

Vladamir Putin?

As if this whole Areal thing couldn’t get any more crazier than it already is, it seems that Russia’s big man himself has decided to fund the project. The Areal devs were quick to respond, posting the following update to their project page:

“Out of nowhere yesterday, we got an email claiming to be from Vladimir Putin. We thought at first that there’s no way that this is legit, because we are a Ukrainian studio for the most part, and it’s probably the usual trolls trying to deceive us, but then when we looked at it closely, we started thinking that it might be real. We don’t really know to be honest, but we’re showing you the original signed letter in Russian as well as a translated English version anyway, for you to judge for yourselves. Either way, it’s pretty amusing!”

If you’re curious (or can read Russian), the actual message from Putin can be read here.

If the message is to be believed, then it seems Putin is a fan when he says “If you give me the chance to play the alpha version of the game, when it is ready, then I invite you in advance to the Kremlin, to meet personally, be ready to play a little bit and talk about the interests of young people, the gamers of our country.”

This is amusing, since the Nitro character in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat was made to look exactly like Putin. Perhaps he enjoyed the game?

It’s fairly obvious this is a clever troll who is trying to simultaneously discredit and help collapse the Areal Kickstarter, and I for one expect whomever it is who is impersonating ol’ Vlad to pull their money out on the 11th hour. If I’m right, and many seem to agree with that line of thinking, then expect the Areal developers to spend a few years wiping all of that egg off of their faces.

Naturally, we’ll keep you updated as the drama progresses.

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Carl is both a JRPG fan and a CRPG'er who especially loves European PC games. Even with more than three decades of gaming under his belt, he feels the best of the hobby is yet to come.

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