Stalker 2 (opens in new tab) studio GSC Game World was one of the first to speak out (opens in new tab) against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and to call for financial aid for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Today the studio released a brief video emphasizing the increasing danger in the country, which has forced it to move the development of Stalker 2 "to the sidelines" while it focuses on protecting its employees and their families.
The video begins with a look inside GSC's motion capture studio, recorded last week as part of a planned showcase of mocap work for Stalker 2 cutscenes. "The previous week was ages ago," the video says, reflecting how quickly and dramatically the situation changed on February 24, when Russia invaded.
"This video is our answer to 'How are you guys?' question," it continues. "Now we are striving to help our employees and their families to survive. The game development shifted to the sidelines. But we will definitely continue. After the victory."
It's a poignant ending to a video that's difficult to watch, particularly given the increasingly dire situation inside Ukraine. No mention is made of Stalker 2, which was slated to come out on December 8, but of course there isn't: Russian troops are massing outside of Kyiv (opens in new tab), the capital of Ukraine and GSC Game World's home city, which along with other Ukrainian cities is coming under increasingly heavy bombardment (opens in new tab), and I am quite confident that release dates are the last thing on anyone's mind right now. I've reached out to GSC Game World to ask "the most common question"—are you guys okay?—and will update if I receive a reply.