SCS Software announced the Heart of Russia (opens in new tab) DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2 (opens in new tab) in March 2021, promising to open up the nation—with some limitations, allowing for the sheer size of the place—to more in-depth exploration. But today the studio announced that, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it has decided not to release the expansion.
"On the 24th of February 2022, our Heart of Russia team was some 6-8 weeks away from completing work on the highly anticipated new DLC," SCS wrote in a blog post (opens in new tab). "We all felt really good about the result; a lot of effort had been invested in making this new region look truly fantastic in the game. We were absolutely sure that our community, especially those in Russia, would really appreciate that."
February 24 was the day that Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a move that left the studio "in shock." The studio quickly took steps to raise funds for humanitarian aid in the nation, primarily through the creation of the Ukrainian Paint Jobs Pack (opens in new tab) for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator—which has already sold more than 85,000 copies. Heart of Russia was put on hold, however, and after months of consideration, SCS has elected to shelve it.
The studio said it tries to be as "apolitical" as possible with its games in order to more effectively provide a common ground for its community to share. But because of the nature of the expansion and the circumstances of the war in Russia, SCS "decided to refrain from releasing the DLC so that it is not perceived in any way as being in support of or tolerance of the aggression."
"We strongly believe that there is hope for the proud people of Ukraine to prevail and for the suffering to end for all. Injustice cannot and must not win," the studio wrote. "And, when the time comes for Ukraine to rebuild and heal, then we will endeavour to find a way for our Heart of Russia DLC to play whatever part it can in that healing process, for everyone."
In other words, we may one day see the Heart of Russia, but not anytime soon.