STALKER 2 game developer hacked by Russian hacktivists, data stolen

GSC Game World, the developer of the highly-anticipated ‘STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl’ game, warned their systems were breached, allowing threat actors to steal game assets during the attack.

The Ukrainian game publisher says that a “community from a Russian social network” was behind the attack and is blackmailing the company by threatening to release data for Stalker 2, which is expected to be released .

“Recently, our employee’s account for a collective work-with-images application was hacked. The responsibility for this was claimed by a community from a russian social network,” reads the statement posted to Twitter.

“They are threatening to use the obtained data for blackmail and intimidation. This is not the first attempt to hack and leak our data, including personal information. We have been enduring constant cyberattacks for more than a year now.” 

GSC Game World says this is just one of the many hacks, blackmail, and cyber-aggression it has sustained in the past year, aiming to put hurdles in the game development process and harm its reputation.

The company emphasizes that these attempts are futile, as its employees regularly face much more harrowing situations due to the prevailing war conditions in the country.

The company asks the community not to watch or redistribute any data leaks that may appear online and claims that the data the Russian hackers stole mostly concerns outdated and work-in-progress materials that are not representative of the final product quality.

“We encourage you to stay patient and wait for the official release for the best experience possible,” reads the company’s notice.

Hackers complain about firm’s stance

The hackers posted a message on the Russian social media platform VK, claiming to have stolen a “vast amount of STALKER 2 material,” including the entire storyline, cutscene descriptions, concept art, global maps, and more.

Samples of those were already released to serve as proof of the data breach claims, but most have been withheld to be used for extorting the game publisher.

Screenshot from the game's development build
Leaked screenshot from an early development build (VK)

More specifically, the hackers demand the following three things from GSC Game World:

  1. Reconsider their attitude towards players from Belarus and Russia.
  2. Lift the ban of the ‘NF Star’ user from the game’s official Discord channel.
  3. Introduce Russian localization for the upcoming game, if not by its release, at least as an add-on.

“We do not want the cancellation or postponement of the game, especially in light of some of ’s success, which isn’t respected in our group,” reads the .

“Don’t ruin people’s enjoyment of the game due to politics,” conclude the hackers.

The hackers are giving the game publisher until March 15 to change its stance towards Russian and Belarusian players. Otherwise, they claim they will leak tens of gigabytes of data stolen from the company’s systems.