Microsoft devoted a segment of its Xbox Games Showcase Extended to address the war in Ukraine by highlighting one of the studios directly impacted by it. The dev diary showed developers at GSC Game World, the studio behind Stalker 2, talking about how their lives and work have been impacted since the war began.
The segment is powerful, and includes a content warning for disturbing images. It shows the office culture at GSC before the shelling of Kyiv began, followed by the destructive aftermath. It details developers who have had to abandon their homes or take refuge in hallways to continue working, and others who have lost their pets. The GSC office building itself, located in Kyiv, is abandoned.
The most striking part of the segment may be developers talking directly to the camera about their lives. Animator Oleksandr Levchenko describes the horrible feeling of losing contact with his parents. Others are shown bearing weapons, having taken up arms to defend the country. The video ends by saying there are more stories at the studio but some cannot be shared due to safety concerns.
“My name is Max, I am a narrative designer on Stalker 2,” says Maksim Hnatkov, dressed in fatigues and bearing a rifle. “After our victory, I’ll return to the game.”
The video ends by promoting United 24, a Ukranian support initiative begun by Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.