Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl developer GSC Game World faces war and evacuation struggles – The past year has been difficult for GSC Game World, the company behind Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl. The team has worked tirelessly to complete their next game despite suffering immeasurable losses as a result of Putin’s war on Ukraine, like many other Ukrainians. Maria Grygorovych, the studio’s head producer, has talked about the difficulties the team at the studio encountered after the war.
As reported in an interview with Wired, Grygorovych said, “Emergency buses were ready at the GSC office throughout the winter, with drivers ready for action.” Tensions before the invasion were high, but many hoped war wouldn’t break out. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and Grygorovych added, “The evacuation plan with all the timings and meeting points was ready as well: The employees were aware of their organising responsibilities if the action would be needed.”
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According to the article, GSC offered to transfer its employees to Uzhhorod, a smaller town located closer to evacuation routes and further from the area of conflict. 200 workers and their families accepted the offer, and some went to Budapest. The crew is currently split between Prague and Ukraine, with some members even engaging in direct combat with Russian forces.
However, persuading the personnel to leave their houses wasn’t simple. According to Grygorovych, “several residents of the Kyiv region felt certain Bucha or Irpin [two city suburbs] would be reasonably safe in any situation. Given the horror that followed, it’s a miracle we were able to persuade them to leave in the end.
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500 individuals, including personnel, families, and dogs, were successfully evacuated by the studio. The railway and bus stations were crowded, making it nearly difficult to rent a car, according to Grygorovych. Additionally, according to Wired, the studio’s bosses were only getting “two, possibly three hours of sleep as they laboured day and night to find a soft landing for GSC.”
She went on, “Every second we had to be totally focused. The majority of the evacuation process was finished considerably later, when the emotions finally overflowed.”
GSC is continuing working on Stalker 2 despite all the enormous effort that has gone into getting everyone moved and dealing with the invasion’s aftereffects and ongoing effects. Just before the new year, a new gameplay trailer was unveiled, and the development team celebrated International Cat Day with a mutant cat.
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After the invasion, GSC chose to use the Ukrainian spelling of Stalker rather than the more well-known Russian one. Before the war, a Ukrainian team created a game about Chornobyl, which is actually in the Kyiv region, and it evolved into something far larger once the invasion began, according to Grygorovych. “It serves as evidence that Ukraine is not only extraordinarily effective and brave on the battlefield, but also valuable in terms of cultural legacy. It is now a national product. a thing to display to the public.”