The forthcoming first-person shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will no longer feature the subtitle “Heart of Chernobyl.” It’s now officially subtitled S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl, a representative for Ukrainian developer GSC Game World confirmed to Kotaku.
GSC Game World updated the first-person shooter’s Steam listing earlier this week to reflect the revised name, and will soon roll out similar updates for its listing on the Xbox store. (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl has only been confirmed for release on PC and Xbox Series X/S.) These changes, the representative said, are meant to reflect the “proper Ukrainian writing” of “Chornobyl” and are “consequences of the Russian invasion” of Ukraine.
On February 24, in an unprecedented act of aggression, Russia invaded Ukraine, targeting major cities — including Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Kyiv, where GSC Game World is based — with a series of military attacks. The conflict, which is still ongoing, has resulted in more than 1,500 civilian casualties and three million refugees, according to stats from the Council on Foreign Relations.
“As of today, the Russian Federation has officially declared war on Ukraine,” GSC Game World wrote in a statement at the time. “Our country woke up with the sounds of explosions and weapons fire, but is ready to defend its freedom and independence, for it remains strong and ready for anything. … Ukraine will persevere. As it always does.”
GSC Game World confirmed to Kotaku that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl will not be sold in Russia or its ally Belarus, following similar moves from major publishers like Sony and CD Projekt Red. Earlier this month, the indie game storefront itch.io assembled a $US10 ($14) charity bundle featuring more than 900 games, soundtracks, and books, with all proceeds going to humanitarian organisations offering assistance to people in Ukraine.