Development on Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl (opens in new tab) was recently delayed until 2023 (opens in new tab). Its developer GSC Game World was based in Kyiv but, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has been facing the direst of circumstances. It had to temporarily pause development while it helped some employees flee the conflict, and evacuate its old office, while other employees are volunteering or have signed up for the Ukrainian armed forces.

The extended Xbox and Bethesda showcase included a video about what’s been happening with GSC Game World’s staff. It begins with some clips of the studio in happier times before cutting to footage of Kyiv from February 24. We’re shown some of the bombed-out buildings around GSC’s offices and the evacuation of some of the studio’s employees. There’s a melancholy shot of the near-bare Kyiv office afterwards, a place where these people once dreamed up their ideas and were making them reality: now just rows of empty chairs, desks strewn with abandoned monitors and chintz no-one wanted.

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