A curious new update has confirmed STALKER 2 is renamed to Heart of Chornobyl in light of Russia’s invasion and ongoing war in Ukraine.
News that STALKER 2 is renamed to Heart of Chornobyl came via a quiet update (via PC Gamer) to the game’s Steam page, which now has the game’s subtitle spelled as “Heart of Chornobyl” and not the original “Heart of Chernobyl.”
The reasoning behind this change of spelling is due to the cultural split that has come up with the Ukraine war, as the game’s developer GSC Game World are based in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Chornobyl is the Ukrainian spelling of the former nuclear power plant, which in 1986 saw disaster as the plant melted down and the entire region had to be evacuated. As the power plant was made under the Soviet Union, it has been spelled the Russian way, or Chernobyl.
The new subtitle change has been reflected in the game’s description and Steam entries, however the promotional art and such still has the old Russian spelling and in some other miscellaneous listings.
Since the beginning of the war, the developer has condemned Russia’s actions and asked for fans to help support Ukraine’s military. GSC Game World also halted development on the game so they could focus on their own safety, noting development will continue “after the victory” in Ukraine.
Previously, GSC Game World delayed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl from its April 2022 release to a release sometime in December 2022. At that time it was understood that the game could be delayed again or possibly cancelled entirely, pending what could happen in Ukraine.
Once released, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl will be available for Xbox Series X|S, and later on Windows PC. The game will be available on Xbox Game Pass on launch.