A leak of what appears to be a new console port of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl has been uploaded onto the internet by a Russian streamer apparently upset over developer GSC Game World’s approach to supporting the war in Ukraine.
A new report from PC Gamer reveals that a Russian streamer who goes by two names – ‘Nevazhno, Kto’ and ‘Velichaishii’ – uploaded footage of an apparent console port of the original STALKER game, first released on PC in 2007, accompanied by a five-page document. Said document details that Nevazhno leaked the footage because GSC Game World has, in his eyes, discriminated against Russian fans by encouraging them to donate to Ukraine’s Come Back Alive Foundation. The foundation helps supply defensive equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces, and donating to the Ukrainian military is a crime in Russia, hence Nevazhno’s anger.
Nevazhno’s chief problem is that GSC, a Ukrainian developer, did not make Russian supporters aware of the potential legal consequences of donating to the Come Back Alive Foundation. “This was an attempt to make bargaining chips out of Russians,” he wrote in the document, seen by PC Gamer. “The only mention of criminality came when people began to complain about this shit to Roskomnadzor [Russia’s media monitoring agency]”.
PC Gamer spoke to GSC, who said “We have been publishing pleas to help Ukraine in our social media and on our web resources—just like thousands of other Ukrainian companies… Nonetheless, an important thing to mention is that we also added a clarification about the donations from Russia later on. We think we might be in the absolute minority—if not the only ones—to do so”.
The document reportedly includes a number of other complaints, including Nevazhno’s belief that Russian players are discriminated against in GSC’s Discord server, but the choice to release footage of the console port of STALKER seems to mostly be rooted in this donations issue.
Nevazhno told PC Gamer that he hopes this leak concludes his attack on GSC. “I hope that everything ends with this,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how I got it, what’s important is that I didn’t lie, and this is not some fan mod… this leak was made out of a desire to achieve justice, which I saw in revenge by any means at all. This was a cry from the soul”.
As for the leak itself, while it does look reasonably genuine, there’s currently no confirmation from GSC over the video’s authenticity. The developer did, however, deny to PC Gamer that the leak came from an employee also upset about the studio’s attitude to Russian fans, which is how Nevazhno claims he came into possession of the footage.
GSC is currently working on STALKER 2, despite the impact of the Russian invasion on its staff. Originally planned to release this year, the war put a pause on development, and it is now planned for the first half of 2023.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.