Within the morning of March 12, STALKER developer GSC Game World uploaded an announcement to Twitter describing a safety breach on the firm. GSC lays the blame at a “group from a Russian social community,” and warns of potential leaks and spoilers for the upcoming STALKER 2. As reported by GameRant, this appears to be in response to a put up from the account Вестник «Того Самого Сталкера» (auto translate: “Herald of ‘The Identical STALKER'”) on the Russian social media platform VK.

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GSC says that an worker “account for a collective work-with-images software was hacked,” and alludes to earlier cyberattacks on the corporate referring to the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine, where GSC is predicated. “Our unwavering dedication to supporting our nation stays unchanged⁠—we are going to proceed to do every part potential to assist Ukraine, and this would possibly not change sooner or later beneath any circumstances.”

The developer goes on to warning followers about STALKER 2 leaks, and requests that they keep away from disseminating such materials: “Within the occasion of any leaks, we ask that you just chorus from watching or distributing details about STALKER 2: Coronary heart of Chernobyl. Outdated and work-in-progress supplies might dilute the impression of the ultimate concept that we’ve got put into the game.”

The offending VK account initially scans because the form of fan group you are more likely to discover on any social media platform. It has 11,000 followers and, satirically, its guidelines prohibit “unlawful content material,” in addition to “politics and political overtones.” I might argue that the STALKER 2 improvement supplies obtained through hacking represent the previous, whereas the account holder’s calls for of GSC are, nicely, fairly political:

  • “Change your thoughts, rethink your perspective in the direction of gamers from Belarus and Russia, apologize for the unworthy perspective in the direction of atypical gamers from these nations.
  • We advise unbanning the NF Star profile in your official Discord – you banned me for nothing, due to this I needed to cease holding again.
  • A separate subject is the return of ru-localization. Followers are ready for it out of your official firm. It’s not essential to spoil the game for folks due to politics.”

I feel what most stands out to me is how a lot this rhymes with fan outrage moments we have seen up to now⁠—speak of “avoiding politics” and “unban me out of your Discord instantly” appears to crop up any time somebody makes a localization change to a Japanese launch or places a homosexual character of their videogame. Right here although, it is within the context of a twenty first century European land struggle. “It’s not essential to spoil the game for folks due to politics” certainly.

GSC Game World will virtually assuredly not budge on these factors, and in response to its assertion on Twitter, the Herald revealed extra idea artwork obtained within the hack. GSC’s point out of a “work-with-images” software, in addition to the account’s publishing of solely pictures up to now, leads me to consider that it doesn’t have extra substantial supplies like improvement paperwork, video, or an in-progress construct, however we doubtless will not have to attend lengthy to see how large the hack was.

Final August, a Russian streamer and STALKER fan leaked footage of an unreleased console model of the primary STALKER, citing related pro-Russia motivations to at this time’s leak. For extra on how the Russia-Ukraine struggle has impacted the video games business, PCG affiliate editor Joshua Wolens not too long ago did a deep dive on the motivation behind Western scrutiny of Atomic Coronary heart developer, Mundfish, which is headquartered in Cyprus however appears to have lots of its operations in Moscow and St. Petersburg.