Between hacks and bombs, Stalker 2 may never come out
Yet another postponement for one of the most anticipated games of 2023 (and even before 2022).
Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl is the sequel to one of the most beloved games of the early 2000s. After the first chapter released, only for PC, in 2007, with this new adventure players will be able to enter the contaminated area. Set in a dark and apocalyptic context after the nuclear disaster, Stalker 2 mixes survival horror with first person shooter.
The game immediately had a large audience, so much so that in 2010 the parent company advertised a sequel for consoles. First uncertain information and continuous postponements, then the sudden closure of the production studio in 2011, leave fans hopeless about the future of the game. Later, in 2014, GSC Game World reopens and a few years later, in 2018, announces that Stalker 2 is back in the works.
But now the fate of the highly anticipated shooter is in the hands of the Russians.
GSC Game World is a software house founded in Kiev in 1995: with the beginning of the war in Ukraine, it moved its headquarters to Prague, in the Czech Republic. Since then, the work on the video game has become considerably more complicated, not only due to the transfer headquarters, but also for the death of Volodymyr Yezhov – one of the developers who fought near Bachmut – and for the continuous cyber attacks by Russian hackers.
The latest of these dates back to June: GSC Game World used Twitter to warn fans that Russian hackers “who have been attacking the company for almost a year and a half” would gain access again, compromising “part of our data relating to internal testing of various aspects of the game”. The tweet did not clarify whether it was artwork, video, images, maps or pieces of code, or the extent of the damage. In March, they managed to steal 30GB of stuff, this time apparently up to 200GB. It also seems that parts of Stalker 2 circulate freely on the dark web and for this reason the developers have asked fans not to watch or share material from the game, to avoid compromising the future experience.
A war, the one in Ukraine, which is not fought only with bombs. Russian hackers are involved in espionage, cyber attacks against companies or infrastructures, cyber sabotage, disinformation, manipulation of defense and communication networks.
The path of Stalker 2 represents a form of resistance to the Russian invasion: GSC Game World is in fact just one of the many realities in the world of coding and software development to suffer continuous virtual attacks. The war could destroy an entire sector, which currently employs around 200,000 people.
Many startups risked losing everything and abandoning important projects. Many have chosen to continue working despite bombings and scarcity of resources.
Among these, also GSC Game World, whose employees are scattered between Uzhhorod, near the border with Slovakia and Hungary, Kiev (some employees are actively involved in the fighting) and Prague, the new headquarters of the company.