Euro Truck Simulator 2 has shelved an upcoming Russia-themed expansion pack after the country’s invasion of Ukraine, its developer SCS Software has announced. In a blog post, the Czech Republic-based developer said that it has cancelled the imminent release of the Heart of Russia DLC pack “so that it is not perceived in any way as being in support of or tolerance of the aggression.”
Euro Truck Simulator 2 has become a cult hit since its release in 2012, leading its developer to support it with over half a dozen major pieces of DLC in the years since. These packs have expanded the game’s map and added new countries for players to drive through. When it was officially announced in March 2021, SCS said the Heart of Russia expansion wouldn’t allow players to drive through the entirety of the country, but aimed to reach the “upper Volga river.” Limited parts of Russia are already available to drive through in the game thanks to its previous Beyond the Baltic Sea expansion.
According to the developer, the Heart of Russia expansion was around six to eight weeks away from being complete on February 24th when the invasion began. Initially, the company says it contributed to humanitarian aid charities, and later donated all proceeds from the sales of its Ukrainian Paint Jobs Pack DLC, which has now sold over 85,000 copies. But eventually it was forced to make a decision about the map expansion DLC itself.
“When developing our games we try to be as apolitical as possible, in a way shielding the global player audience from everyday controversies,” the developer writes. “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. But since our DLC, Heart of Russia, directly concerns Russia, and with so many people suffering, we decided to refrain from releasing the DLC.”
SCS’s blog post leaves the door open for the DLC to be released one day in the future. “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,” it writes.