Stalker 2 became something “incomparably bigger” after the invasion of Russia

The studio has been through a lot, but the team is determined to produce a world-class game.

Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl developer GSC Game World has had a rough time over the last 12 months. Like many Ukrainians, Putin’s war against the country has led to untold losses, but through it all, the team has pushed hard to finish their next game. Lead producer Maria Grygorovych has spoken about the challenges the studio and its staff faced in the wake of the war.

As reported in an interview with Wired, Grygorovych said: “Emergency buses stood at the GSC office all winter long, with drivers ready for action.” Tensions before the invasion were high, but many hoped that war would not break out. Still, prevention is better than cure, and Grygorovych added: “The evacuation plan with all the times and meeting points was also ready: the employees were aware of their organizational responsibilities if action was necessary.”


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The report claims that GSC offered to move its staff to Uzhhorod, a smaller city further from where the fighting would be and closer to evacuation points. 200 employees and their families accepted the offer, and others left for Budapest. Now the team is split between Ukraine and Prague, with some even fighting Russian troops on the front lines.

However, it was not easy to convince the staff to leave their homes. “Some people who lived in the Kyiv region were confident that Bucha or Irpin [two suburbs in the city] it would be relatively safe in either scenario,” Grygorovych said. “It’s a miracle we convinced them to leave in the end, considering all the terror that followed.”

The studio managed to evacuate 500 people, staff, families and pets. “Renting a car was an almost impossible task, and the train and bus stations were flooded with people,” Grygorovych explained. Wired also reported that studio managers were getting only “two, maybe three, hours of sleep as they worked around the clock to find a soft landing for GSC.”

She continued: “We needed to be extremely focused every second. The emotional overflow came much later, when most of the evacuation process was complete.”

Despite all the colossal work that has gone into moving everyone around and dealing with the lasting effects and aftermath of the invasion, GSC is still hard at work and developing Stalker 2. A new gameplay trailer was revealed just before the new year. , and the team celebrated International Cat Day with a mutant feline.

As for Stalker, after the invasion, GSC decided to change the name to the Ukrainian spelling, rather than the more widely recognized Russian. “It was a game about Chernobyl, which is actually in the Kyiv region, created by a Ukrainian team before the war, and it became something incomparably bigger after the invasion started,” Grygorovych explained. “It is now a national product, the goal of which is to show that Ukraine is not only exceptionally effective and courageous on the battlefield, but also equally valuable in a sense of cultural heritage. Something to show the world.”

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