In the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, many lives have been completely overturned, and several game developers are caught up in the mix, including the STALKER 2 team at GSC Game World. The STALKER 2 developers recently shared a video of members of the team that were unable to leave Ukraine, and some of them are helping fight off invading Russian forces.
GSC Game World first revealed the much-anticipated STALKER 2 back in 2010 and it was expected to release in 2022, but because of the Ukrainian war, the STALKER 2 developers have put development on hold. While the team behind STALKER 2 mentioned the cause of the delay in the past, it created a video on June 14 showing the specific challenges they face. Although details about STALKER 2 continue to come out slowly during the limited development time, it’s currently unclear when the game will be ready and the new developer diary never hinted at a launch window.
The developer diaries from GSC Game World begin with footage of life before the war in Ukraine alongside some b-roll that shows a celebratory and enthusiastic team working on the finishing touches of STALKER 2. This includes motion capture of a soldier reloading their assault rifle before twitching around on the floor, close-ups of developers working on STALKER 2 environments, a dance competition, and a big party that concludes the initial portion of the video. The GSC Game World developer diaries take a drastic turn when it shows the beginning of the Russian invasion of Kyiv on February 24 juxtaposing the aforementioned party and beginning the footage of the remaining team’s new life.
The video continues by showing the devastation Kyiv experienced in the form of multiple destroyed buildings and homes, the panic of evacuating much of the STALKER 2 team to the Czech Republic, and the concern of not knowing whether loved ones are safe. The remaining developers continue to work in tighter spaces than the previous studios and volunteer to help their community while running to bomb shelters when air raid sirens blare out. The developer diaries conclude by focusing on STALKER 2 developers that joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a result of the conflict with Russia and each of them remains hopeful for victory so that they can return to work on the game.
There is often a wave of frustration expressed by the gaming community when a big game is delayed, but the response to GSC Game World has been resoundingly supportive. STALKER fans have been waiting several years for a sequel at this point and aren’t voicing any grievances as they request that the developers continue to prioritize safety over developing the game. One person anticipating the release of the sequel emphasized to the developers that even a cancellation of the game would have been understandable given the circumstances, but praised their dedication in continuing to work on STALKER 2.
STALKER 2 is in development for PC and Xbox Series X/S.