GSC Game World renames sequel as 'STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl' to reflect Ukrainian spelling

STALKER 2 saw a subtitle change recently to 'Heart of Chornobyl' (Image via GSC Game World)
STALKER 2 saw a subtitle change recently to 'Heart of Chornobyl' (Image via GSC Game World)

Ukrainian developer GSC Game World has made an announcement, concerning STALKER 2. With the Russia-Ukraine crisis still going on, the developer decided to change the subtitle.

From now on, the game will feature the Ukrainian spelling of the location, Chornobyl, instead of the Russian 'Chernobyl.'


STALKER 2’s subtitle change, no official reason given at this time

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl’s development has been put on hiatus as of the time of writing this article, due to the ongoing tense situation in the world. The developer, GSC Game World is located in Kyiv, the capital of the nation. Fans of the game can, as of now, expect the game to launch on December 8, 2022.

In order to put the safety of their families and employees first, the game has paused development. With that in mind, the game’s title has also been changed on Steam, now featuring Heart of Chornobyl instead.

While some of the early promotional material still shows Heart of Chernobyl, all material going forward will likely show STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl instead, in solidarity with Ukraine.

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While no official reason was given, it’s not a shocking change. The countries have a very tense relationship, given how long Ukraine was a part of the Soviet nation. Given that Chernobyl is the Russian spelling of the region, the decision to rename the game makes sense, given the current political climate.

Language is incredibly important, and several facets of Ukrainian culture have been replaced by the Russian language. The capital city, Kyiv, is often written with the Russian “Kiev," for example, and the nation itself is often referred to as “the Ukraine."

This is grammatically incorrect, but also a slur to the Ukrainian people, as Ukraine is an independent nation now, instead of being a part of the USSR. So while there is no official reveal of the game's subtitle change, it’s one that makes sense and shows solidarity with the Ukrainian people during this time of the crisis.

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The STALKER sequel has had a long and storied development, originally announced back in 2010, with a scheduled date for 2012. Despite a variety of setbacks, the game will finally be released on December 8, 2022, provided there are no further setbacks.