Ukrainian game developer GSC Game World has announced it was breached by Russian hacktivists who stole assets related to the much-awaited game STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl.
A message from GSC Game World team pic.twitter.com/rqRM0tFZmO— S.T.A.L.K.E.R. OFFICIAL (@stalker_thegame) March 12, 2023
According to GSC, the hacktivists accessed an employee's image app account and stole STALKER 2's full story, cut scenes, various concept art, global maps, and more. The company said these assets are being used for blackmail and intimidation.
"We have been enduring constant cyberattacks for more than a year now," the GCS Game World Team said in its.
"We have faced blackmail, acts of aggression, attempts to hurt players and fans, and efforts to damage the development process of the reputation of our company."
A group named Vestnik TSS has claimed responsibility and has given the devs an ultimatum: Do as we say, or we'll leak all stolen STALKER 2 assets.
"Nick Frost", a Vestnik TSS administrator, posted the group's demands on the Russian social media site VK.com. Below is a screenshot of the English-translated post:
Vestnik TSS wants GSC to apologize to players in Russia and Belarus for its perceived "unworthy attitude" towards them, un-ban certain Russian accounts on its official Discord server, and bring back the Russian localization of STALKER 2. The group gave the developers until March 15, Wednesday, to make these changes.
It appears, however, that Vestnik TSS leaked some files that they stole before yesterday's deadline. The group's VK page is awash with concept art, which includes an overview of mutant NPCs, bits of the game world's map, and artifacts. On Tuesday, alias "Daniel Nexus", likely another admin, posted more STALKER 2 assets archived and kept behind a password.
GSC Game World is yet to respond to the demands; and by the tone of its message, I suspect the developers have no intention of complying. Instead, the team has pleaded for the STALKER community to refrain from watching or distributing the leaked materials.
"Outdated and work-in-progress materials may dilute the impression of the final idea that we have put into the game. We encourage you to stay patient and wait for the official release for the best experience possible. We believe that you will love it."
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