Ukrainian Game Devs To Russian Hackers: ‘Russian Hackers, Go Fuck Yourselves’
from the ╭∩╮（︶︿︶）╭∩╮ dept
Back in the early days of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, one of the most captivating stories was that of Snake Island, a small island in Ukrainian territorial waters. Under constant radioed threats from a Russian cruiser, Ukrainian border guard Roman Hrybov uttered his now iconic response to the warship: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.” Keep that story in the back of your mind.
Leaks happen on the internet. So do hacks. When two countries are belligerents in a war these days, the cyberwar attacks generally ramp up. Still, leaks are leaks and if they’re approached the right way, they can be no big deal. Or they can be an avenue for actually generating more support from the customers or fanbase. You just have to accomplish two things. First, you have to successfully steal yourself against the scary, scary leaks and not treat them as the end of the world. Second, you have to behave in a human and awesome way, so as to garner more public support, all while explaining that a leak is not necessarily representative of the finished product you are building.
How could those to preamble paragraphs possibly mesh into a single post? Let’s talk about how a Russian hacker group compromised systems at Ukrainian developer GSC Game World, the studio behind the Stalker video game series.
On the 11th of March, a post on a Russian fan page for the Stalker series boasted of having hacked the in-development Stalker 2, and started making threats to the Ukrainian developers of the game. Those developers have now responded, and basically told them to go to hell.
The post and hack appear to be in response to developers GSC Game World’s decision not to localise the upcoming shooter for the Russian market, and for the way Russian members of the series’ community are being treated in the wake of their country’s invasion of Ukraine last year. The hackers ask GSC to “rethink your attitude towards players from Belarus and Russia”, and to “apologize for the unworthy attitude towards ordinary players from these countries”.
With regards to the lack of a Russian localisation, they write “Fans are waiting for it from your official company. It is not necessary to spoil the game for people because of politics.”
According to the hacking group, if their requests are not honored, they will be releasing a ton of exfiltrated data. This includes art, details, imagery, and all kinds of other content for the unreleased Stalker 2 game that is slated for release later this year.
As you can imagine, this is never a fun situation for content creators. All of that content may factor into the completed game at one level or another, but it is almost certainly not fully representative of what will be the finished game. You can imagine GSC being both very pissed off that this happened and very concerned about the impression the released content could leave an otherwise willing-to-buy public. Many studios in cases like this would negotiate with the hackers to ensure the content was not released.
Or, if you’re GSC, you say something similar to: Russian hackers, go fuck yourselves. The following is from a statement GSC released, but you really should go read the whole thing. The caps, by the way, are in the original.
WE ARE A UKRAINIAN COMPANY, AND LIKE MOST UKRAINIANS, WE HAVE EXPERIENCED MANY THINGS THAT ARE MUCH MORE TERRIFYING: DESTROYED HOUSES, RUINED LIVES, AND THE DEATHS OF OUR LOVED ONES. ATTEMPTS TO BLACKMAIL OR INTIMIDATE US ARE COMPLETELY FUTILE.
OUR UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING OUR COUNTRY REMAINS UNCHANGED-WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO SUPPORT UKRAINE. AND THIS WON’T CHANGE IN THE FUTURE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
There you have GSC deciding that the leaks aren’t that scary, at least not enough to give in. As to acting human and imploring its fans to see things the studio’s way, while explaining why, this is about as good as I’ve ever seen it done.
IN THE EVENT OF ANY LEAKS, WE ASK THAT YOU REFRAIN FROM WATCHING OR DISTRIBUTING INFORMATION ABOUT S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: HEART OF CHORNOBYL. OUTDATED AND WORK-IN-PROGRESS MATERIALS MAY DILUTE THE IMPRESSION OF THE FINAL IDEA THAT WE HAVE PUT INTO THE GAME. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO STAY PATIENT AND WAIT FOR THE OFFICIAL RELEASE FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE. WE BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL LOVE IT.
WE’D LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST APPRECIATION FOR OUR LOYAL COMMUNITY. WE ARE OVERWHELMED BY THE RESPONSE AND SUPPORT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM YOU. THANK YOU FOR THAT. FROM EACH AND EVERY MEMBER OF THE GSC GAME WORLD TEAM.
Your move, Russian hackers.
Filed Under: hacks, russia, stalker, ukraine, video games
Companies: gsc game world