STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl now uses the Ukrainian spelling

It seems that STALKER 2’s title has been updated to now use the Ukrainian spelling for Chornobyl. Originally announced as STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl, using the more commonly recognised Russian spelling for global audiences, the game’s title has been changed to STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl on Steam.

There’s not been an official announcement about any rebranding. GSC Game Worlds hasn’t made any statements, and the old Russian-derived spelling is still found on the game’s Xbox page, Epic Store page and official homepage (which is headed by a anti-war statement and instructions on how to send money to support Ukraine’s military and charities), as well as in imagery supporting the game on Steam. It feels like someone at GSC made the changes on a whim, but it’s one that’s likely to spread to other pages and platforms as and when it’s possible.


STALKER 2 Chornobyl Rebrand

The shocking invasion and weeks-long war that Russia has waged against Ukraine has dominated the headlines, as the Ukrainian military and citizens have fought to defend their homeland. We’ve seen plenty of developers and publishers take various actions to show their support, from public messages of condemnation of the despicable war and the atrocities that Russia’s army has been committing, to charity fundraising drives, and pulling out of the Russian and Belorussian markets.

One noteworthy side effect has been a growing awareness that many of the spellings and pronunciations that the world has been using for Ukrainian cities and places were taken from Russian spellings, as opposed to Ukrainian ones. These were defined while the two were part of the USSR, and never changed after the USSR crumbled in the early 1990s. To emphasise solidarity with Ukraine, people have quickly adopted Ukraine’s spellings and pronunciations for the capital Kyiv (previously Kiev), for example, and we might well see something similar for Chornobyl to supplant Chernobyl.

Headquartered in Kyiv, GSC put STALKER 2’s development on hold in early March. In a message to fans, the team half-joked that “‘Gameplay when’ is no longer the most common question. Now we hear ‘Are you guys okay?’ more and more.” This accompanied their latest Stalker 2 development diary, showcasing how GSC has been putting together the game’s cutscenes.

Stalker 2 was originally meant to launch in early 2022 but was pushed back to December 8th, 2022. Given the way that the war has unfolded over the last few weeks, the game has pretty much no chance of making that date. Instead, the focus should be on the safety and wellbeing of GSC Game World staffers, families and all Ukrainians trying to survive and defend their homeland.

Source: Steam

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