GSC Game World has pushed back the release for their upcoming post-apocalyptic survival title, Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl. The game will now launch on December 8, 2022, instead of its initial April 28 release date.
The announcement comes via a tweet where the studio apologised for the delay. “This decision is not an easy one, but we are doing the best possible to deliver you a game that can live up to the expectations.” Stalker 2 is the biggest project in the history of GSC, and therefore, the additional seven months of development will be utilised for thorough testing and polishing.
— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) January 12, 2022
“We are convinced that development should take as long as necessary, especially in the case of such a project,” it reads. Although GSC has not mentioned an exclusive reason for the delay, a lot of developers recently have blamed the pandemic-induced work conditions as a prime factor. This leads to a lack of communication, and sometimes, cancellation of asset deliveries from any outsourcing partners – as seen with Final Fantasy XVI.
The schedule could also be impacted by the studio’s decision late last year, where they tried incorporating NFTs (non-fungible tokens) into the game. In partnership with platform DMarket, the studio introduced an auction scheme where players bid for an NFT offering.
The winner/ owner of the NFT would then be added into the game as an NPC (non-playable character). This led to an intense backlash, and the studio ended up scrapping all NFT-related plans, the very next day.
Stalker 2 is the long-awaited sequel to GSC’s trilogy of open-world survival horror games, set in the irradiated fields of Chernobyl’s nuclear zone. The title was originally announced in 2012, but was eventually cancelled before reappearing in 2018 again.
It features a non-linear story, where players are tasked with finding equipment, survival gear, and joining different factions to keep themselves alive. The world is filled with horrifying mutated creatures and anomalies who attack you at sight, or one can go hunting for them in lairs.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl launches on the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox Game Pass, and Windows PC via Steam.