UPDATE: A developer from GSC Game World has nixed these rumors on Discord, saying that the game’s intended release date is still 2023.
A couple of weeks earlier, it was reported that GSC Game World’s STALKER 2 had been delayed indefinitely, and that the pre-orders were being cancelled. Now, according to a Russian article about the incident from iXBT Games, the STALKER 2 release window is “no earlier than 2024 or 2025”, for a number of reasons.
The most evident reason is because GSC Games World is a Ukranian studio. Due to the country’s war against Russia, many of its staff left the company. New employees therefore have to be caught up on working on the game, and the company apparently has a high turnover rate, all of which is contributing to the game’s state, which is apparently in “permanent repair.”
Considering how the STALKER games are seen as a great series (one might even say “classic”) among its genre, it’s at least good that GSC Game World is willing to delay the game as long as necessary in order to ensure that it comes out good. A number of changes have previously been talked about in interviews for things like environments, anomalies, and monsters, plus factions and how they interact with each other.
The various issues with STALKER 2’s development have necessitated extensive repair or rewriting from scratch certain parts of the game, hence the delay. That, and the political circumstances facing their country right now, are likely the biggest things affecting the STALKER 2 release window.
While all of the bad news about the game’s development can be disappointing to hear, especially for a franchise as popular as STALKER, hopefully when everything has calmed down and GSC Game World is able to focus on development again, the game will live up to everyone’s expectations.
Until then, however, all the fanbase can do is wait. And, considering the last STALKER game came out in 2009, the fanbase is very much accustomed to waiting at this point.