Conflicting reports about the state of Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl‘s development are surfacing at the moment, all speculating about the game’s release date. Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl has already seen its fair share of troubled development, the most significant of the delays stems from the ongoing war in Ukraine, the developer being primarily based out of Ukraine before the war began. Now, Ukrainian game developer GSC Game World addresses rumors of Stalker 2’s delay.
It all began with Vitaliy Kazunov, editor-in-chief of the Russian site iXBT Games, who had claimed to have spoken with developers from GSC Game World, and he’d described the numerous issues that the team were facing as a result of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine that include staff turnover and ineffective management, substantial delays as numerous members of the team relocated to Czechia, while others, who were unable to leave Ukraine have stayed to fight in the war. Some of Kazunov’s sources had described the game as being in a state of “permanent repair”, while he claimed that numerous locations were being adjusted or even rebuild from square one, as new faces on the team bring their own vision to the game. He also claims that just the game’s first chapter is complete, and a full, start-to-finish playthrough of the game is currently impossible. He rounded up his findings by suggesting that a 2024 launch might be a little optimistic and suggested that fans should brace for a more likely 2024-2025 launch window.
GSC Game World, who had at one point slated the release of Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl for April 8, 2022, and then December 8, 2022 before the war began, have shifted the game’s release window to 2023, but were staunchly opposed to any suggestions that the game was further away, issuing a comment on the conjecture,
We usually don’t comment on rumors like this, but due to the absurd nature of the info we will make an exception. This is false, and the game wasn’t delayed once again. Our release date is 2023, just as we announced on Microsoft’s Extended E3 show this summer. We recommend trusting the official GSC sources on all the info about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.
Recently, Xbox started issuing refunds for Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, and wouldn’t allow new preorders to be made. When this news broke GSC Game World clarified the situation saying,
We made the announcement at E3 Microsoft Extended show, alongside the Dev Diary and intro cutscene. Microsoft refunds preorders for the games with no exact release date. When we announce the exact release date, later on, the preorders will go live again for Xbox. Pre-orders on PC (Steam, EGS, GOG) are not affected by this.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl is currently slated to launch in 2023 on Xbox, and PC via Steam, the Epic Game Store and GOG