STALKER 2 will be powered by Unreal Engine technology. The news was actually first revealed by Epic in their 'Awesome games of 2020 and beyond' blog post, which later prompted STALKER 2 developer GSC Game World to confirm everything on Twitter.
Apparently, the choice was largely driven by the Unreal Engine's modding capabilities. The developers were keen to point out that this doesn't mean STALKER 2 will be an Epic Games store exclusive, though.
Frankly speaking, we wanted to hold this particular announcement for a while. But our colleagues at Epic accidentally made a New Year surprise for everyone, including us.
GSC Game World team constantly searches for the best technologies to work with, and UE was the most suitable choice for us.
It gives the opportunity to make the game you wait for with the atmosphere of tension and mystery the flesh and blood of the S.TA.L.K.E.R. universe. Additionally, Unreal Engine harmonizes well with our goal to make modding more easy and accessible. User modifications help the world of the lone to live on while we are b_usy with making a sequel, and we can't be more grateful for that.
Yes, we know what you are thinking about, but this announcement has nothing to do with platforms or digital stores. We will talk about this later.
STALKER 2 was first announced to be in development in May 2018. At that time, the targeted release window was 2021, though we haven't gotten any further confirmation of this.
Meanwhile, the STALKER modding community remains as lively as ever. The last franchise installment, 2010's Call of Pripyat, received the 3.0 'remake' mod last month, adding UltraHD textures, improved models, weather, particles, shaders, post-process effects, sounds and user interface.
Another mod titled 'Gunslinger' overhauls the game's weapons with greatly improved animations and realistic behavior. You may find demo footage below, with download links to the mod available in YouTube's video description.