The Ukrainian game developer GSC Game World answers reports of Stalker 2's delay and upholds the 2023 release date.
In response to allegations that the release of Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl has been indefinitely postponed, GSC Game World has confirmed its intention to deliver the game in 2023. Stalker 2 has been in development for some time. It was announced in 2018 that a publishing contract would be secured, and in 2021 GSC Game World revealed that the game will be released in 2022. The release date has been pushed back, but Stalker 2 supporters have only begun to fear the game's future after the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict.
GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
The continued Russian onslaught against Ukraine has severely affected Ukrainians' lives. Like many Ukrainians, GSC Game World is not immune to these problems. A video development log provided by the team in June illustrated the impact on individual developers, including the stories of some GSC Game World developers who have joined the defence of Ukraine. The creation of Stalker 2 became secondary to the developers' safety, although GSC Game World remained committed to the project.
The STALKER 2 video depicts the game's introduction.
The release of the development log was accompanied by a message from GSC Game World stating that the game would continue to be developed “after the triumph.” Xbox would later clarify via official communication that Stalker 2's release date has been moved to 2023. However, concerns remained as to whether that was correct given the current conflict in Ukraine. GSC Game World has now publicly acknowledged that the studio's strategy for 2023 remains unchanged. Stalker 2 has not experienced any additional delays at this time.
GSC's statement regarding Stalker 2's release date was a response to a report claiming the game will be released in 2024 or 2025. This assertion was deemed “absurd” by GSC Game World, which issued a statement explaining that it does not often respond to rumours and gossip.
On the one hand, it would be quite reasonable for GSC to delay the creation of Stalker 2 indefinitely, till 2023 or 2025 or beyond. The status of the war in Ukraine has priority over the production of video games. On the other hand, GSC Game World must continue to pay its employees, which necessitates the continuation of labour.
Additionally, there is the matter of GSC Game World's pride in its work. Stalker 2 is a Ukrainian-based game created by Ukrainian game developers. Given the current state of affairs, the production of Stalker 2 demonstrates the team's patriotism. Now, Stalker 2 is more significant than it would have been otherwise. Setting a firm release date for Stalker 2 in 2023, regardless of its feasibility, would hopefully help the team achieve its objective.