Stalker 2 developer GSC Game World has responded to reports it has been hacked by a pro-Russian outfit, confirming that the group is seeking to "blackmail and intimidate" the studio.
As spotted by GameRant (opens in new tab), it seems the studio received demands to "apologize for the unworthy attitude towards ordinary players from [Russia and Belarus]" and reinstall the game's Russian localization. If the demands were not met by March 15, the hackers threatened to release "tens of gigabytes" of material taken from the unreleased game.
GSC Game World remain defiant, however. In a statement, the studio asked players to "refrain from watching or distributing information" about the game, particularly as outdated and work-in-progress materials "may dilute the impression of the final" version.
"Recently, our employee's account for a collective work-with-images application was hacked," the team said in a statement posted to the developer's official Twitter account. "The responsibility for this was claimed by a community from a Russian social network.
"They are threatening to use the obtained data for blackmail and intimidation. This is not the first attempt to hack and leak our data, including personal information. We have been enduring constant cyberattacks for more than a year now. We have faced blackmail, acts of aggression, hacks, attempts to hurt players and fans, and efforts to damage the development process or the reputation of our company.
A message from GSC Game World team pic.twitter.com/rqRM0tFZmOMarch 12, 2023
"We are a Ukrainian company, and like most Ukrainians, we have experienced many things that are much more terrifying: destroyed houses, ruined lives, and the deaths of our loved ones. Attempts to blackmail or intimidate us are completely futile.
"Our unwavering commitment to supporting our country remains unchanged – we will continue to do everything possible to support Ukraine. And this won't change in the future under any circumstances."
The statement says the team remains "strong and courageous", "because when you believe in something and love it with all your heart, you have to defend it at all costs".
"We have been through a lot. However, these challenges only encourage us to work even harder because we believe that the truth is on our side. Evil will never win."
Stalker 2 was initially scheduled to release in December 2022 but has been delayed due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Work on the game has reportedly resumed (opens in new tab), and Steam says the game is set to release in December 2023. If you're keen to get involved and would like to support the devs ahead of release, pre-orders are now open, although don't forget that Stalker 2's Ultimate Edition recently increased in price from later this month (opens in new tab) after GSC said that "to keep the quality of all the collectible items at the desired level during these uneasy times".
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