Stalker 2 Completely Cuts Ties With Russia
As the world continues to be rocked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, more sanctions are being slapped on the former by the day. In a move that was only a matter of time coming, GSC Game World's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl will not be sold in Russia.
While the likes of Vladamir Putin and Chelsea FC's Roman Abromovich are among the hundreds of high-ranking Russians to feel the pressure, it's more than just the US and UK governments turning against them. From Matt Reeves' The Batman being pulled from Russian cinemas, to the country's removal from the Eurovision Song Contest, we've also seen the video game community show a united front against Russia.
What's Going On With Stalker 2?
Stalker 2 is a first-person survival horror and the fourth game in the long-running S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. More importantly, it's the first release since Call of Pripyat in 2009. Heart Chornobyl is a labour of love, and after the game was originally announced in 2010, massive layoffs at GSC led to its cancellation. Rising from the ashes in 2018, the game was restarted in Unreal Engine 5 and was supposed to release this December.
In a bold move, the developer has cut ties with Russia and the Russian people in an emotional goodbye. The notice first appeared on social media site VK (before being translated on ResetEra). GSC wrote: "The media in Russia (and they are all controlled exclusively by the government) tell you that Ukraine is overrun with 'fascists' and the Russian troops do not destroy houses, killing civilians. This is a lie, the most disgusting and cynical."
The emotionally charged post continued: "Ukraine and its inhabitants will fight to the last breath - for their freedom and their right to choose. For what you couldn't achieve. We are developers from Ukraine. And it will always be so. You have the right to believe what you want. But if you care about the truth, then this is it. Indifference to politics has no place where death steps. Every penny of taxes that go to the Russian Federation is financing the murder of our children and loved ones, the destruction of our cities."
Will Stalker 2 Release?
Given the current situation in Ukraine, it's no surprise that GSC employees are placing their efforts elsewhere right now. Following this, GSC confirmed that Stalker 2 will no longer release in Russia as planned. Although digital pre-orders will be honoured, all physical edition pre-orders will be refunded, while physical copies won't appear on shelves in Russia. It's unclear what's going on with Stalker 2 now, however, it was expected to be a hit in Russia.
We originally heard the title been placed on indefinite hiatus, but by the sounds of the latest announcement, the developer might have some sort of release window in mind if it's going to pull Russia's pre-orders. The last we heard, Stalker 2 had changed its suffix Heart of Chernobyl to Heart of Chornboyl - swapping the Russian spelling of the nuclear power plant to the Ukrainian version. Whatever is going on right now, it's clear GSC is flying the Ukrainian flag proudly in Stalker 2.