'Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl' release now set for 2023

GSC Game World continues work on the sequel amid the war in Ukraine.

GSC Game World

GSC Game World hopes to release Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl next year. The studio shared the updated release window in a trailer it premiered Tuesday during Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase Extended livestream. GSC had previously planned to release the game by the end of this year, but the likelihood of that happening diminished after the company was forced to pause development due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Some fans spotted Stalker 2’s new release window when Microsoft shared an update on Xbox Game Pass during its Xbox and Bethesda showcase on Sunday. "It happened a little bit earlier than expected, we were actually planning to reveal it in the upcoming days," a GSC Game World spokesperson told PC Gamer on Monday. "But yes, the game now releases in 2023."

Alongside a fresh trailer, the studio released a new vlog detailing some of the hardships its staff has had to endure since the conflict in Ukraine began. GSC recently resumed work on Stalker 2 after relocating some of its team members to Prague. The studio also changed the game’s subtitle from “Heart of Chernobyl” to “Chornobyl” to reflect the local Ukrainian spelling of the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster.