S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 could be in serious trouble. Reportedly, chaos reigns in the ranks of GSC Game World, and the game’s release may be pushed back as far as 2025 – unless the developers decide to release it in early access.
Vitaly Kazunov, editor-in-chief of iXBT.games and co-host (with Mikhail Shkredov) of the podcast channel under the same name on YouTube, has reportedly contacted former and current employees of GSC Game World (see video below). The developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl were said to have told him that since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, its development has encountered more and more problems. It is possible that, as a consequence, the title will be released in 2024 or 2025, and not in 2023, as suggested by the placeholder that recently appeared on Steam (via TheGamer).
What’s more, the team is said to be considering releasing the game in early access. This would enable it to create its content on the fly, in addition, with the support of fans, whose feedback could help direct the overall concept of STALKER 2 on the right track. The latter was reportedly disrupted after the GSC Game World team, following the war moved to the Czech Republic. The result was said to be inefficient management and high staff turnover. Above all, a number of key developers reportedly left, to be replaced by newcomers who had their own vision of what Heart of Chornobyl is supposed to be.
Now it’s not that surprising why Microsoft has decided to to cancel pre-orders for the second STALKER, placed by owners of Xbox Series X and S consoles. It is worth recalling here that initially Heart of Chornobyl was planned for release in April 2022. In conclusion, Vitaly Kazunov felt that this date was as unrealistic as the release of Cyberpunk 2077 in April 2020. (eventually delayed to December – with what result, we know perfectly well).