Image: GSC Game World
On March 11, a post on a Russian fansite for the Stalker series boasted about having hacked the Stalker 2 in development and began threatening the game’s Ukrainian developers. These developers have now reacted and basically told them to go to hell.
The post and hack appear to be a response to developers GSC Game World’s decision not to localize the upcoming shooter for the Russian market, and the way Russian members of the series’ community have responded following the recent invasion of their country be treated in Ukraine year. The hackers are urging GSC to “reconsider your attitude towards players from Belarus and Russia” and to “apologize for the unworthy attitude towards ordinary players from these countries”.
Regarding the lack of a Russian localization, they write: “Fans are waiting for this from your official company. There is no need to spoil people’s game because of politics.”
The hackers say they have concept art, story details, maps and “much more” in their possession, adding up to “tens of gigabytes” worth of data. They say that if GSC Game World hasn’t responded by March 15th, they will post those pictures and information on the web.
Well, GSC Game World — which saw a developer on the game killed fighting the Russian invasion in December — has responded, just not in the way the hackers probably hoped. In a statement released today, the developers say (their caps, not mine):
RECENTLY, OUR EMPLOYEE’S ACCOUNT WAS HACKED FOR A COLLECTIVE APPLICATION FOR WORKING WITH PICTURES. RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS WAS CLAIMED BY A COMMUNITY FROM A RUSSIAN SOCIAL NETWORK. THEY threaten to use the data obtained for blackmail and intimidation. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO HACK AND LEAK OUR DATA, INCLUDING PERSONAL DATA. WE HAVE HAD TO ENABLE CONSTANT CYBER ATTACKS FOR MORE THAN A YEAR NOW. WE RESPOND TO STRESSING, ATTACK ACT, HACKING, ATTEMPTING TO HURT PLAYERS AND FANS, AND EFFORTS TO DAMAGE THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS OR OUR COMPANY’S REPUTATION.
WE ARE A UKRAINIAN COMPANY AND LIKE MOST UKRAINIANS WE HAVE EXPERIENCED MANY THINGS THAT ARE MUCH MORE HORRIBLE: DESTROYED HOUSES, RUINED LIVES AND THE DEATH OF OUR LOVED ONES. ATTEMPTS TO BLACKMAIL OR INTIMIDE US WILL BE COMPLETELY FULFILL.
OUR UNBRIDGEABLE COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING OUR COUNTRY REMAINS UNCHANGED – WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO WHATEVER POSSIBLE SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE. AND THIS WILL NOT CHANGE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE FUTURE.
DESPITE ATTEMPTS TO BREAK US, WE REMAIN STRONG AND BRAVE. BECAUSE WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING AND LOVE IT WITH ALL YOUR HEART, YOU MUST DEFEND IT AT ALL COST.
WE HAVE A LOT TO GO AWAY. HOWEVER, THESE CHALLENGES JUST CALLING US TO WORK EVEN HARDER BECAUSE
WE BELIEVE THAT THE TRUTH IS ON OUR SIDE. EVIL WILL NEVER PREVAIL.
IN CASE OF LEAKS, PLEASE DO NOT VIEW OR DISTRIBUTE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT STALKER 2: HEART OF CHORNOBYL. OUT OF DATE AND WORK IN PROGRESS MAY DILUTE THE IMPRESSION OF THE FINAL IDEA WE PUT INTO THE GAME. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO BE PATIENT AND WAIT FOR THE OFFICIAL RELEASE TO HAVE THE BEST POSSIBLE EXPERIENCE. WE BELIEVE YOU WILL LOVE IT.
WE WANT TO EXPRESS OUR HIGHEST APPRECIATION FOR OUR LOYAL COMMUNITY. WE ARE OVERWHELMED BY THE RESPONSE AND SUPPORT WE RECEIVED FROM YOU. THANK YOU FOR THAT. BY EVERY MEMBER OF THE GSC GAME WORLD TEAM.
OUR MISSION IS TO COMBINE ALL OUR STRENGTH AND PASSION TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT AND DELIVER TO YOU, DESPITE ALL THE OBSTACLES ALONG THE PATH. YOUR SUPPORT IS OUR INSPIRATION.
REST OF UKRAINE.
THE GSC GAME WORLD TEAM
That’s a “no”.