A user has leaked 15GB of data stolen from the developer of the highly-anticipated video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 at the start of the month.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl is an upcoming first-person shooter survival horror video game built on the hyper-realistic Unreal Engine 5. It’s the fourth game in the series, with millions of fans worldwide.
The stolen data appeared last Tuesday on a popular hacking forum and is offered for free to anyone wishing to download the two password-protected archives and take a look.
According to the poster, the data includes:
- Complete game map with notes on key locations
- Design graphics, concept art, and other documents
- Limited future DLC details
- Plot items and cut scenes
- Full game plot
- Game world study
- Animations, particles, textures, and other graphical elements
- Development data
The above causes severe damage to the game developer, GSC Game World, as premature exposure of game details undermines marketing efforts during launch and weakens players’ excitement, which drives early sales.
As the poster of the data underlines, however, the leak was not originally his, but he has merely compiled what was posted by the original hacker and also leaker.
Russian Hacker Attack
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 data leak is the product of a breach that occurred earlier in the month from a Russian hacker who claimed to be a fan of the game.
The attacker’s goal was to extort GSC Game World, a Ukraine-based game developer, and convince them to change their stance towards Russian and Belarusian players. The threat actor demanded, among other things, that the game publisher introduces plans for Russian language localization.
As proof of the data breach, the hacker posted samples of the data he stole from the game’s workstations on the Russian social media platform VK.
GSC Game World responded to the extortion without condescension, declaring that any efforts to extort them were futile and that they will defend their decisions at all costs.
Additionally, the company requested the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. players community to refrain from seeing or redistributing any of the stolen files, as those are early work-in-progress materials that do not represent the quality of the finished title.
A few days after that, the hacker decided to start leaking the stolen files gradually on VK, and on March 14, he posted the 15GB dump. This dump was copied and reposted on the hacker forums, reaching a wider audience.
Contradicting the game publisher’s claims about the materials being outdated, the hacker claims that the leaked files are the “latest” versions being worked on right now by the GSC team. In the case of the game plot, which he claims is complete, he suggests that users who don’t like spoilers should not review it.
Even after the release of the 15GB pack, the hacker continued to leak additional files on March 15 and 16, giving away even more details about the upcoming game.