Editor’s Note: The war in Ukraine is an ongoing, painful and emotive topic. IGN urges community members to be respectful when engaging in conversation around this subject and does not endorse harassment of any kind.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl developer GSC Game World has revealed it was hacked by a group on a Russian social network.
On Twitter, the GSC Game World team posted a statement about the hack, explaining what happened and revealing that the studio has faced cyberattacks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
“Recently, our employee’s account for a collective work-with-images application was hacked,” GSC Game World wrote. “The responsibility for this was claimed by a community from a Russian social network. They are threatening to use the data obtained for blackmail and intimidation.
A message from GSC Game World team pic.twitter.com/rqRM0tFZmO
— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) March 12, 2023
“This is not the first attempt to hack and leak our data, including personal information. We have been enduring constant cyberattacks for more than a year now. We have faced blackmail, acts of aggression, hacks, attempts to hurt players and fans, and efforts to damage the development process or the reputation of our company.”
GSC Game World is asking fans to “refrain from watching or distributing information” about STALKER 2 in the event of any leaks. The studio said that outdated and work-in-progress materials are not representative of the final product.
Elsewhere in the statement, GSC Game World also reiterated its “unwavering commitment to supporting” Ukraine, adding that “attempt to blackmail or intimidate us are completely futile.” Finally, the team expressed its appreciation for the STALKER 2 community, ending by saying, “Your support is our inspiration.”
The Ukrainian studio has been very vocal about the ongoing war in its home country. When development was sidelined due to the conflict, GSC Game World said work on the game would continue “after the victory.”
In the months following, the studio shared a look at GSC Game World’s Kiev office and workers before and after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Now, work on the game has continued, with reports that some of the developers have relocated. There’s no release date for STALKER 2 yet, but last we heard the game was targeted for release sometime in 2023.
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Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.