Stalker 2 Hacked By Russia, Say Developers
STALKER 2's developers report their game world has been hacked and approximately 30 gigs of data about the upcoming game have been seized by the hackers for purposes of blackmail.
The war in Ukraine is taking its toll on the world of gaming; the recently released Atomic Heart has been a subject of many controversies, even before it saw the light of day. The latest news revolves around the development team working on the previously delayed STALKER 2 gaming title—GSC Game World has been hacked by a pro-Russian hacking collective.
According to IGN, GSC Game World posted a statement about the hack on social media, shedding light on the situation, explaining that the STALKER 2 studio has been a target of numerous cyberattacks ever since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine began in February 2022. Apparently, the company’s account for the collective image-processing application was hacked, resulting in hackers obtaining a tone of data used for blackmail and intimidation. As per their account, a group of pro-Russian hackers claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hackers claim to have gained access to approximately 30GB of valuable information, including concept art, environmental art, and maps, as well as in-game cutscenes and screenshots that reveal the upcoming game’s narrative. The hackers threaten to release said STALKER 2 content unless their demands aren’t met by March 15. These include softening the company’s attitude towards Russian and Belarusian fans, an official Russian-language localization of the game, and the unbanning of a specific account on the game’s official Discord channel.
The STALKER 2 developer has openly stated that none of those demands will be met, even at the price of having their content leaked. However, the company asked STALKER 2 fans to refrain from watching and sharing any information about STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl in the event of a data leak. According to GSC Game World, some of the stolen material is outdated or still considered a work-in-progress—as such; it could dilute the idea of the final product that the development team is trying to implement.
In other words, just as all data leaks and unofficially released information, any STALKER 2 leaks aren’t representative of the final product. If the readership happens to stumble upon any unofficially released data—and the chances of that happening are increasing as the deadline approaches—it should either heed GSC Game World’s advice or ingest the information with a healthy dose of salt. This isn’t the first time the company was attacked and threatened with unsanctioned data release; previous attempts even included personal information about the company’s employees.
STALKER 2‘s developer has been under an intermittent cyber-siege for more than a year now, ever since the conflict broke out. The company and its teams faced blackmail, various acts of aggression, hacking, and other efforts to hinder the development process and damage the company’s reputation. And it isn’t the only Ukrainian developer that has been affected by the conflict—in fact, many Ukraine game developers have been affected, asking the gaming community for support for their country.
While the development of many gaming titles suffered due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, STALKER 2 and Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened are just some of the most prominent and recent examples. STALKER 2 still has no release date, but many suggest that the game is scheduled for a 2023 release date.