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Stalker 2 on hold, Ukraine-based developer confirms

UPDATE: Kyiv-based studio appears to have re-named game.

UPDATE 14/3/22: Stalker developer GSC Game World appears to have subtly changed the name of its upcoming and now on-hold sequel.

Its full title, Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, has been altered on Steam to Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl - reflecting the Romanised Ukrainian version of the name, rather than its original (which is based on the Romanised Russian).

GSC hasn't yet commented on the change, spotted by GamesRadar, although it's not difficult to see why it has been made.

Earlier this month, GSC said its work on Stalker 2 had been paused while its Kyiv-based employees were sheltering from the devastating Russian invasion of Ukraine. More on that below.

ORIGINAL STORY 3/3/22: Stalker developer GSC Game World has released a video update, following fan concern for the studio.

The company is based in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, which has been repeatedly targeted during the ongoing Russian invasion.

Development of Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl has now been paused, the studio said, but will resume upon Ukraine's "victory".

A warning, some of the footage of the conflict shown in the video below may be distressing.

The video begins with a recap from GSC on what it had previously been working on: a video from its motion capture studio to show fans how the game's cutscenes were being created.

"The previous week was ages ago," GSC said today. "Our country is forced to fight for its existence again. Seems like this is the price of freedom.

"This video is our answer to 'How are you guys?' question. Now we are striving to help our employees and their families to survive.

"The game development shifted to the sidelines. But we will definitely continue. After the victory. Glory to Ukraine."

Stalker 2 had been scheduled for release this December on PC and Xbox Series X/S.

Game developers in Ukraine spoken out in the face of the Russian invasion - but there's now a call for companies outside the country to do more. Yesterday, Ukraine's deputy prime minister has called on PlayStation and Xbox to stop supporting the Russian market completely. EA, meanwhile, will remove Russia from FIFA 22.

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Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.