Less than two weeks ago, developer GSC Game World announced that it would put the development of Stalker 2 on hold for now. This decision ultimately came off as more than justified. After all, GSC Game World hails from Ukraine, and as you undoubtedly already know, Ukraine has remained under attack by Russia for a few weeks now. Although the developers have rightly prioritized their own safety as well as the safety of their families amidst this conflict, this has not stopped them from making one more change to Stalker 2. The subtitle for Stalker 2, formerly Heart of Chernobyl, has changed to Heart of Chornobyl to reflect the Ukrainian spelling.
As of right now, the developers have not officially announced their decision to change the subtitle’s spelling. However, the game’s Steam page has now adjusted the spelling of the title, as well as all references to the in-game location of Chornobyl. So far, the Xbox page for Stalker 2 has not made this spelling change.
A show of solidarity
Traditionally, English transliterations of several Ukrainian location names, including Chornobyl, have adopted the Russian spellings. But Russia’s status as the aggressor in the current conflict in Ukraine has led to calls for the normalization of the Ukrainian spellings instead. Calls for such changes go as far back as 2018, when the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs pushed a campaign dubbed KyivNotKiev. The campaign was in reference to the Ukrainian capital and advocated for widespread use of Ukrainian spellings among English-language media.
The changing of Stalker 2’s subtitle is a notable symbol of protest against Russia’s actions in Ukraine, but that is not all that GSC Game World has done to contribute to the Ukrainian cause. The Stalker 2 developers have used their official Twitter account to raise awareness for an initiative to help the Ukrainian army. The tweet includes a donation link for those who wish to lend support.