Stalker 2 seemingly on track to release this year as dev adds "final touches" to the FPS

Stalker 2
(Image credit: GSC Game World)

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has opened Xbox's Gamescom booth with a short address where he mentions some of the games playable at the event, among them Stalker 2, which he says is currently having the final touches added.

"One that's close to my heart is [the] Stalker 2 team, and all that they've been dealing with," Spencer says. "They have a playable game on the floor, which is just fantastic. I got to play yesterday. The game looks great, and they're literally downloading a build as I'm sitting there, trying to put the last touches on their game. But what an amazing story."

The road to release has been an incredibly difficult one for Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. Stalker 2 was initially scheduled to launch on April 22, 2022, before being pushed back seven months to enable the team to "achieve the desired state of the game". It was then delayed further due to the Russian invasion and is now expected to arrive sometime before the end of 2023.

Earlier this year, GSC revealed that it's been targeted by Russian hackers for "almost a year and a half," which has led to the leak of a test build. Not long before this, the Stalker 2 dev had told pro-Russian hackers that "attempts to intimidate us are completely futile" amid a blackmail threat.

Back in October, after cancelled pre-orders sparked concerns that another delay was on the cards, GSC assured fans that Stalker 2 was on track to launch this year, and given Spencer's comments at Gamescom, that still appears to be the case.

From what we've seen so far, Stalker 2 could redefine action horror – in the same way its brilliantly terrifying forerunners did

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.