The Euro Truck Simulator 2 Heart of Russia DLC was just weeks away from completion at developer SCS Software back in February, when the Russian Federation launched its invasion of Ukraine. Now, in light of the war, the studio says it has decided to cancel the expansion to avoid the appearance of offering any support to the Russian side of the conflict.
SCS Software says that on February 24, the Heart of Russia team was about “6-8 weeks” away from being ready to launch the map expansion for their popular simulator game. “We all felt really good about the result; a lot of effort had been invested in making this new region look truly fantastic in the game,” the devs write in the latest blog post. “We were absolutely sure that our community, especially those in Russia, would really appreciate that.”
The studio scrambled to put together a Ukraine charity DLC to offer assistance to Ukrainians fleeing the war, and to date about 85,000 copies of the Ukrainian paint jobs DLC have been sold.
However, the studio says at this point it faced a difficult decision as to whether to move forward with the Heart of Russia DLC.
“When developing our games we try to be as apolitical as possible, in a way shielding the global player audience from everyday controversies,” the studio says. “We quite like the idea that our shared passion for a truck simulation allows people to connect, to pay a virtual visit to a neighbouring country in peace, and to enjoy a hobby that we commonly share, rather than allowing anything divisive to set us apart.”
With that in mind, SCS Software says it opted not to go forward with the release of Heart of Russia. “Since our DLC, Heart of Russia, directly concerns Russia, and with so many people suffering, we decided to refrain from releasing the DLC so that it is not perceived in any way as being in support of or tolerance of the aggression”, the developers write.
At some point, the studio says, the expansion may become available, but only when the war has ended and Ukraine begins recovering from the costly war.
“When the time comes for Ukraine to rebuild and heal, then we will endeavour to find a way for our Heart of Russia DLC to play whatever part it can in that healing process, for everyone”, the studio says.