Game development is already super challenging, but sometimes, there’s a lot more than just programming, graphics, and bugs to worry about. GSC Game World, the Ukrainian-based developer behind the popular S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series and its upcoming sequel, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl, has revealed that it was recently hacked by “a community from a Russian social network,” one that seemingly got away with some of the company’s prized data and are planning to use it for blackmail and intimidation purposes. GSC, which noted that this isn’t the first time it’s been targeted, has warned S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 fans to avoid any leaks that may stem from this incident, noting that “evil will never within.” Powered by Unreal Engine 5, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl will be released for Xbox Series X|S and PC platforms in 2023, and Game Pass subscribers will be able to play it on day one.
From a GSC Game World message:
RECENTLY, OUR EMPLOYEES ACCOUNT FOR A COLLECTIVE WORK-WITH-IMAGES APPLICATION WAS HACKED. 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 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.
WE ARE A UKRAINIAN COMPANY, AND LIKE MOST UKRAINIANS, WE HAVE EXPERIENCED MANY THINGS THAT ARE MUCH MORE TERRIFYING: DESTROYED HOUSES, RUINED LIVE* 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 WONT CHANGE IN THE FUTURE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
DESPITE THE ATTEMPTS TO BREAK US, WE REMAIN STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. BECAUSE WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING AND LOVE IT WITH ALL YOUR HEART, YOU HAVE TO DEFEND IT AT AU 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.
IN THE EVENT OF ANY LEAKS, WE ASK THAT YOU REFRAIN FROM WATCHING OR DISTRIBUTING INFORMATION ABOUT S.U.LK.ER. 2: HEART OF CHORNOBYL OUTDATED AND WORK-IN-PROGRESS MATERIALS MAY DILUTE THE IMPRESSION OF THE FINAL IDEA THAT WE HAVE PUT INTO THE GAME. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO STAY PATIENT AND WAIT FOR THE OFFICIAL RELEASE FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE. WE BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL LOVE IT.
WE’D LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST APPRECIATION FOR OUR LOYAL COMMUNITY. WE ARE OVERWHELMED BY THE RESPONSE AND SUPPORT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM YOU. THANK YOU FOR THAT. FROM EACH AND EVERY MEMBER OF THE GSC GAME WORLD TEAM.
OUR MISSION IS TO COMMIT ALL OF OUR STRENGTH AND PASSION TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT AND DELIVER IT TO YOU, DESPITE ALL THE OBSTACLES ON THE WAY. YOUR SUPPORT IS OUR INSPIRATION. GLORY TO UKRAINE.
A message from GSC Game World team pic.twitter.com/rqRM0tFZmO— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) March 12, 2023