Stalker 2 delayed to December

Stalker 2
(Image credit: GSC Game World)

Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, the long-awaited new addition to GSC Game World's cult shooter series, has been delayed. The studio said today that instead of arriving in April as planned, the game is now slated to launch on December 8.

"These additional seven months of development are needed to fulfill our vision and achieve the desired state of the game," GSC Game World said in a statement. "Stalker 2 is the biggest project in the history of GSC, and it requires thorough testing and polishing. We are convinced that development should take as long as necessary, especially in the case of such a project."

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The schedule could also be impacted by the decision late last year to incorporate NFTs into the game. The backlash from players was so intense that the studio scrapped the plan the following day, and while there's no mention of it in the delay announcement, that sort of last-minute turnaround is bound to cause some degree of chaos. The length of the delay—more than half a year—also suggests that Stalker 2 needs more than just a little tweaking and tuning.

Whatever the reason, I don't mind waiting. The original Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl was notoriously janky, and while that's absolutely part of the experience—I even said so in this rundown of our favorite janky games—to be honest, I'll be happy if Stalker 2 is a little bit of a smoother and more stable experience.

Despite the proximity of the original release date, we haven't actually seen much of Stalker 2 yet beyond the system requirements and a couple of brief, highly curated gameplay videos. That will hopefully start to change soon: GSC Game World promised that "more information, updates, and showcases" would be coming throughout this year.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.