3rd December 2023 9:38 am
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Ukraine’s STALKER 2 devs blackmailed by Russian hackers

  • Ukraine’s GSC Game World, the developers of STALKER 2, have said that Russian hackers have stolen data from the upcoming video game.
  • One of the alleged hackers posted to a Russian fan site, claiming they have full story spoilers, cutscenes, concept art and around 10GBs of data relating to the game.
  • GSC has called on fans of the game to not share any leaked material they may come across online.

Developers of cult classic STALKER, and its upcoming and highly anticipated sequel STALKER 2 say they have to constantly deal with hacking attempts and other malicious threats against them. Why? Because they’re making a AAA game in the middle of a war.

STALKER developers GSC Game World are based in Kyiv, Ukraine and shared in an official Twitter post that, “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.”

The latest alleged hack emerged from a “Russian online community” who broke into the developer’s “collective work-with-images application” and absconded with unreleased material relating to the upcoming game.

STALKER is incredibly popular in Eastern Europe. The first game was released 15 years before Russia began invading Ukraine. As such, the series has passionate fans on both sides of the conflict.

GSC says the hackers are threatening to use the data “for blackmail and intimidation.”

One of the alleged hackers boasted about the hack on a Russian STALKER fan page. They have even shared some of the leaked material to prove authenticity.

“We have a huge amount of materials on STALKER 2 on our hands,” they wrote and further claim to have full story details, cut-scene descriptions, various pieces of concept art, maps, and more. In total around 10Gbs of data related to the game.

The alleged hacker threatens that the group they belong to will leak the information unless GSC folds to their demands, including the “rethinking” of the devs’ attitudes towards Belarus and Russia, and “apologise for the unworthy attitude towards ordinary players from these countries.”

Belarus has been a significant ally of Russia, and has even sent troops to support Russia’s efforts in its invasion of Ukraine.

Further, the alleged hacker wants to be unbanned from the official STALKER Discord, and hilariously says “You banned me for nothing, because of this I had to stop holding back.” Be careful with all that edge, homeslice.

The final demand calls for GSC to make a Russian version of STALKER 2. GSC has said that the game will be in many languages, except for Russian in solidarity with Ukraine’s war effort. “It is not necessary to spoil the game for people because of politics,” the hacker says. They then set the deadline for the demands for 15th March.

GSC has been resolute in their response. Saying that they have experienced things in the last year that are much more terrifying than leaked materials.

“Destroyed houses, ruined lives, and the deaths of our loved ones. Attempts to blackmail or intimidate us are completely futile.”

GSC asks fans of the game to refrain from sharing any leaked material they may come across. “Outdated and work-in-progress materials may dilute the impression of the final idea we have put into the game,” the developers say.

STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl is slated for an unspecified 2023 release date. It is set to launch on Xbox Series X, S and PC.

[Image – GSC Game World]

Luis Monzon

Luis Monzon

Journalist. Covering education, AAA gaming and consumer tech. Reach me at Luis@htxt.co.za.

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