Platformer Cyberpunk Replaced is delayed because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Revealed at Xbox-Bethesda showcase in 2021, Substituted (opens in new tab) is a 2.5D cyberpunk action platformer set in an alternate history 1980s USA, a nation plagued by corruption, greed and a general societal collapse in the wake of a catastrophic nuclear event. As an artificial intelligence imprisoned in a human body, players must explore the Phoenix-City region and learn to adjust to human life, while “beginning to understand that everything has a price”.

I like the concept and the announcement trailer released last year (embedded above) is really eye-catching. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a longer wait than expected before you (and I) get to play it. Publisher Coatsink said today that due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has been forced to delay the 2022 release to 2023.

“The Belarusian studio working on the game, Sad Cat Studios, has a team of talented developers from Belarus and Ukraine,” reads the delayed message. “Unfortunately, the ongoing war in Ukraine has heavily impacted Replaced’s development, as most of the team resides in neighboring regions.

“Sad Cat’s priority was the safety of the team and their families. As a result, part of the team was relocated and work only recently resumed on Replaced.”

View more

Coatsink and Sad Cat are “prioritizing the physical and mental health of the developers, not pushing the original deadlines that were unexpectedly impacted”, and therefore Replaced is due out in 2023.

Sad Cat is in a very unusual situation, because Belarus and Ukraine are actually on opposite sides of the war: Belarus, which borders Ukraine, is a russian ally, and while so far it has managed to avoid being directly involved in the invasion, the nation has served as a stage for Russian forces. This made Belarus a target for many of the same sanctions that were imposed on Russia.

While the Belarusian government supports Moscow, some of its citizens are very openly pro-ukraine (opens in new tab). That includes Sad Cat, who expressed strong opposition to the invasion in a separate message published in March.

(Image credit: Sad Cat Studios)

“We condemn the Russian aggression on Ukraine, as well as the Belarusian government’s involvement in this aggression. There is absolutely no excuse for the war and suffering that is happening right now,” the studio said. tweeted (opens in new tab).

“Our team faced anti-dictatorship rallies in Belarus in 2020 – one of us was wounded, one arrested. Now one of ours is trapped amidst the chaos of war, defending his country, and we are incredibly proud to have such brave people in our team.”

More recently, Sad Cat said that the relocation process is “progressing at a slower pace” but that “the team is quite safe (opens in new tab).”

Other Ukrainian studios impacted by the Russian invasion include Vostok Games, Frogwares and GSC Game World, which announced earlier this week that development of Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl (opens in new tab) was resumed.

Leave a Comment