Earlier this week, Xbox stopped accepting pre-orders of the first-person shooter survival horror game and started refunding those that had previously pre-ordered, because the game had been postponed to an “unconfirmed date in the future”.
Stalker 2 was originally set for release in December but in June, GSC: Game World confirmed the title would be delayed until 2023 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Following the recent changes to pre-orders, fans feared the title would be delayed even further but according to a GSC spokesperson (via PCGamer), nothing has changed their end.
“We had to postpone the game to 2023 with no exact release date for now. We made the announcement at E3 Microsoft Extended show, alongside the Dev Diary and intro cutscene. Microsoft refunds pre-orders for the games with no exact release date,” they explained. “When we announce the exact release date later on, the preorders will go live again for Xbox. Pre-orders on PC (Steam, EGS, GOG) are not affected by this.”
The Russian invasion forced GSC Game World to shift Stalker 2’s development “to the sidelines” earlier this year, with the team then reportedly leaving Ukraine for the Czech Republic.
However in May, the studio revealed it was back on track with development.
It's been 111 days since the war broke into our home, changing everything and everyone around. GSC Game World is a Ukrainian company, so our story is alike.https://t.co/jeNu3TLRs7#GoodHuntingStalker #CheckPDA #GSC #stalker2 #devhighlight
— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) June 14, 2022
The video shows one community lead now working in an “office space” between a bathtub and a washing machine, while narrative designer Dariia Tsepkova has spent the last three months living and working in a corridor with a one-eyed dog that was rescued from shelling. “It’s not easy to write violent quests when there’s a war outside your window,” shared Tsepkova.
In other news, an Ubisoft Forward live stream event is taking place tonight (September 10) and is set to confirm the future of the Assassin’s Creed franchise following the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Mirage – find out how to watch it here.