Half-Life 2, Doom 3 Assets in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?

This week, threads have started showing up on various forums containing what appears to be evidence that GSC Game World's recently released shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl makes use of a number of graphical assets taken directly from commercially released games such as Valve's Half-Life 2 and id Software's Doom 3. Many forum posters are speculating that the assets were used without authorization.

One of the first threads to be made regarding the matter was posted to the MapCore forums; the thread creator, user michi.be, posted screen captures allegedly comparing the light image folders from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to those of Doom 3 (all screen captures locally mirrored). Tellingly, though some of the images had been modified in various ways, such as having hue or saturation adjustments, the original filenames from the Doom 3 folders remained the same--for example, a file with the Doom-esque name "lights_impflash.dds," referring to one of the game's enemies, was visually modified in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. folder but retained the filename.

Later in the same thread, user Johnny posted an image allegedly comparing a water texture from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to a water texture from Half-Life 2. As in the Doom 3 case, the images were nearly identical and the filename was unchanged with the exception of its extension.

Responding to inquiries made by Shacknews, id Software CEO Todd Hollshead stated:

I've seen a post on a web forum that claims DOOM3 assets are used in another game, but we've been working hard on Enemy Territory: Quake Wars as well as our own internal project and have not had the time to fully investigate or otherwise verify that the claim is true. Only from what I've seen on the Web, it's concerning. However, it may turn out to be nothing. Nevertheless, it would be improper to make any decision about a course of action until we find out whether the claim is true, and what assets from DOOM3, if any, have potentially been used.

Hollenshead's reply suggests that if S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developer GSC Game World did in fact make use of id Software assets, it was not done with id's consent. Shacknews has also contacted Valve and GSC on the matter, but neither party had responded at the time this story was published.

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