Russian gamers stole S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 early build and made it playable
Russian gaming industry media are telling their readers that the stolen early build of the Ukrainian game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (which is not officially released yet) can already be played. In particular, this was shared by the Russian publication Igromania.
AIN.Capital reminds its readers the story of how this build got into the hands of gamers from the Russian Federation, and how they blackmailed Ukrainian developers using it.
- Continuation of the legendary series from the studio GSC Game World, the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl is due out in the first quarter of 2024. The release of the game was postponed several times, which is not surprising: because the studio works in Ukraine and the war affects the development.
- Since the beginning of the full-scale war, the studio and its owners have taken a fundamentally pro-Ukrainian position: they donate to the Ukrainian army, and in the summer of 2022 they announced that they will remove the Russian dubbing from the game.
- The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series has a historically large fan base in Russia. In March 2023, in response to the patriotic stance of Ukrainian developers, Russian gamers began blackmailing them by leaking early game files. They demanded an apology from the Ukrainian studio for the “indecent treatment” of Russians and Belarusians, as well as the return of the Russian dubbing.
- Russian gamers published this “appeal” to the Ukrainian studio in the second year of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with tens of thousands of citizens dead and entire cities destroyed. GSC Game World worked on the game under air alerts, from basements and bomb shelters, and many of its employees entered the ranks of the Armed Forces. In December 2022, the famous S.T.A.L.K.E.R developer Volodymyr Yezhov died in battle near Bakhmut.
- Then the studio reacted to the blackmail with an official statement that it would not give in to threats. In response, Russian gamers, blackmailing the company and demanding an apology, published 15 GB of leaks: design documents, art books, concepts, and, according to the Russians, the plot of the game. In June 2023, they started sharing the stolen build of a game that wasn’t even out yet.
- Now, the Russian gaming media like Igromania shares the “happy news” that this stolen build has finally been “fixed” and can be launched and played. “Fans messed with the leaks for a long time and finally managed to improve it,” the publication’s journalist rejoices in the video review. She notes that the studio continues to work despite various difficulties, such as a fire in the Czech office. The fact that her fellow citizens are shooting and killing studio employees is left unsaid.