In a recent interview with Wired, STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl executive producer Maria Grygorovych answered some questions and shared some new information about the challenges of developing a highly anticipated game in the shadow of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Game screenshots from the title.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl’s development process began in 2018 and is scheduled for release on PC and Xbox Series X|S in Spring 2022, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine has significantly disrupted the development process of Kyiv-based studio GSC GameWorld. it hurt. This resulted in a long delay of STALKER 2 until 2023, which required the studio to be relocated from Kiev to Prague, Czech Republic.
“The internal displacement was complete chaos and confusion,” says Maria Grygorovych. “Hiring a car was a near-impossible task, and the train and bus stations were overcrowded with people.” According to Wired, the GSC GameWorld leadership had to evacuate 500 people, including the developers and their families. While most of the developers managed to relocate to Prague, a significant number of team members remained in Kiev, and some went to the forefront of the war to defend their country.
However, this relocation came at a cost to the studio. The team had to leave a motion capture studio in Kiev behind. Also, its members were unable to carry all the devices they owned in the studio. The developers managed to get what they could only carry with a suitcase of their own necessities, such as clothes and food.
Despite all these difficulties, GSC GameWorld is currently working at full capacity to release STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl later this year. The recently shared screenshots from the gameplay showcase incredible visuals with almost no signs of decline compared to what we’ve previously seen in the title at Microsoft and Bethesda’s showcase in 2021. The textures look very impressive with the lighting system that applies a high level of depth. .and realism to the game. You can also see the in-game HUD like bullet count and a radar function at the top.
Maria Grygorovych believes that STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl is now more than just a simple game for the studio and the people of Ukraine. “It is now a national product that aims to show that Ukraine is not only highly effective and brave on the battlefield, but equally valuable in terms of cultural heritage. It is something that needs to be shown to the world,” says Grygorovych.
Despite the fact that STALKER 2 should be exclusive to the Xbox Series X|S console, some previously leaked data had revealed that the exclusivity deal would only last three months.