development in Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl (opens in new tab) recently resumed, after being interrupted in February after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Studio GSC Game World was based in Kyiv, but had to help its staff and families relocate, during which time it also changed the game’s name: hit now Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobylreflecting the Ukrainian spelling of the region.
The game was still scheduled for a release in december (opens in new tab) although, given the circumstances, this seemed increasingly optimistic. In the Xbox and Bethesda showcase last night, a slide near the end of the presentation listing games that will be released in the next 12 months showed Stalker 2 as releasing in 2023.
✨ VIDEOGAMES ✨ pic.twitter.com/r48l1xE9lnJune 12, 2022
I contacted GSC Game World and asked if the slide was correct. “It happened a little earlier than expected, we were planning to reveal it in the next few days,” writes Zakhar Bocharov of the GSC. “But yes, the game will now be released in 2023.”
Of course, a game’s release date isn’t important in the context of war, but Stalker 2 is just one of the many ways the illegal invasion of Russia has had knock-on effects on the gaming and tech industry. GSC Game World is currently in the process of moving to Prague and in March ended operations in Russia (which resulted in the game’s website being blocked in an act of petty censorship.) The studio condemned the “inhuman cruelty” of the invasion, and this is a matter of survival for its employees and their families.