KEY POINTS

  • Microsoft documents reveal that "S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2" will be a three-month Xbox exclusive
  • The documents were revealed as part of Epic Games' lawsuit against Apple
  • "S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2" is reportedly set for a Q4 2021 release date, with a PC release scheduled for three months later

The legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple is still raging on, and a number of other companies and a few upcoming game titles are getting caught in the crossfire. Some recently revealed internal documents have unveiled one particularly interesting development.

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2,” the highly-anticipated sequel to the original “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” games from 2007, has apparently been leaked to be an Xbox exclusive for three months on launch. This information was shared by Redditors who found a court file containing an executive portfolio update belonging to Microsoft.

The document contains a number of recent quarterly release highlights from developers and publishers across the gaming industry, including a few of Microsoft’s own. A section of the document entitled “Newly Signed Deal Titles” features “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2,” “Tetris Effect: Connected” and “The Gunk.”

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2” is slated for a Q4 2021 release, so eager fans may expect to get the game as early as October. However, since it’s marked as a timed Xbox exclusive, PC players will only be able to play the game at the end of Q1 2022 at the very latest.

Ironically, none of the first “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” games were ever released on consoles. Luckily, players won’t necessarily have to be familiar with the events of the previous series entries in order to immerse themselves in the game’s world.

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” is set in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in a world where the cataclysmic Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant incident caused radical changes in its surrounding natural environment. The blast’s affected area, now called “The Zone,” has become the home of mutated men and wildlife, and many mysterious anomalies that bend the rules of reality.

Players take the role of a S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a nickname of sorts given to any mercenary, criminal, bandit or treasure hunter within The Zone.

The game is played in a first-person perspective with survival horror elements. “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” games typically have a linear main storyline with semi-open world maps littered with various points of interest. However, some mods on PC have turned the game into a sandbox-style survival game.

Details on “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2” are still murky at this point, but available media shows that much of the original game's core elements will remain intact.

STALKER Call of Pripyat STALKER Call of Pripyat Photo: GSC Game World