West Games' Areal, a spiritual successor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., had been sitting for a few days on Kickstarter without much hope in reaching its $50,000 goal. While things weren't looking good for the game, the team noticed last Saturday that a few backers managed to raise its current funds to $64,248--well beyond its goal. However, when the team looked into these generous backers, they noticed something odd: one of them was apparently Vladimir Putin.
As if that wasn't strange enough, the Russian president--it's undecided whether or not he's the real deal--sent the team a convincing letter, which details his daughter's love for video games.
"It's important that our people do not shoot at each other, but instead, play games like this," wrote (maybe) Putin. "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."
Undoubtedly the team responded with skepticism, however, a few key details emerged that made them reconsider the possibility that Putin actually sent them a letter. According to West Games, only two people managed to raise the $12,000 that the studio needed to excede its goal. While it's kind of a shock that Putin would be interested in a game on Kickstarter, he undoubtedly could have had enough money to pitch in to the extra $12,000.
"We thought at first that there's no way that this is legit, because we are a Ukranian studio for the most part, and it's probably the usual trolls trying to deceive us, but then we looked at it closely, we started thinking that it might be real."
Regardless of whether or not the funder is actually Vladimir Putin, he, or she, helped fund Areal. Because of that, the game is on track to meet its 2016 release date.