Epic’s director of publishing Sergey Galyonkin has revealed that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was announced early to try and secure a publisher during E3.
Speaking during the latest episode of the How to Make Games podcast (via PCGamesN), Galyonkin shared that the upcoming sequel is still in the design document phase and was announced so early to drum up interest from publishers. He also mentioned that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 team is separate to the Cossacks 3 team, and members of the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. team are involved.
Epic Games is licensing the Unreal Engine to GSC to develop the game, which is how Galyonkin knows this information.
GSC Game World originally announced a sequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in 2010, but the game was cancelled in 2012 when the studio was shuttered. The studio was later brought back in 2014.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was officially unveiled earlier this month with a 2021 release window.