“Some really sh**ty individuals within the community”: Helldivers 2 Devs are Being Subjected to the Wrong (and Worst) Type of Attention According to Johan Pilestedt

Pilestedt is tired of the some of the players' attitude toward

Helldiver 2 Desert Fight


  • Arrowhead's Chief Creative Officer, Johan Pilestedt, criticizes the increased threats and rude behavior from toxic fans.
  • New CEO Shams Jorjani emphasizes the need for community self-moderation and positive interaction tools.
  • Both Arrowhead and PlayStation are learning to manage a larger, diverse audience for current projects and future live-service titles.
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The Helldivers 2 team probably didn’t expect the game to blow up the way that it did on release. Remember, the servers were in shambles the first few weeks simply because they could not handle the sheer amount of people who wanted to try it out themselves.


Ever since then, the community has continued to grow. However, with this kind of audience comes a lot of toxicity that the Arrowhead Game Studios’ ex-CEO, Johan Pilestedt, refuses to stay silent about.

Pilestedt Calls Out Toxicity Within Helldivers 2 Fandom

The Helldivers 2 fandom's toxicity is reaching extreme heights
The Helldivers 2 fandom’s toxicity is reaching extreme heights

In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Pilestedt spoke about the highs and lows of having such a large community, and how the team is still learning to deal with some of the cons.


With over 12 million copies sold, the game has an overwhelmingly large player base, especially for a company that previously dealt with a much smaller-scale game.

This new audience comes with a lot more responsibility, and the team at Arrowhead is still getting used to it. Pilestedt shares some of the new aspects they have to deal with:

The big difference now, which is horrifying, is the amount of threats and rude behaviour that people in the studio are getting from some really shitty individuals within the community.

He says frustration is part of Helldivers‘ essence, as you can’t get to the highs without the lows. It’s a philosophy that the “hardcore” players are more likely to understand.


However, when 12 million people play the game, it’s a given that not every person in the fanbase will understand.

The New Arrowhead CEO Wants to Combat This Toxicity

Arrowhead is gradually learning how to weed out the bad apples in the Helldivers 2 fandom
Arrowhead is gradually learning how to weed out the bad apples in the Helldivers 2 fandom

Shams Jorjani, the studio’s newly appointed CEO, also chimed in. He explains that when games perform wildly beyond expectations, they find an audience outside of their niche fan group.

As a result, you’re met with many different fans with all kinds of things to say. Almost every game has toxicity, but the bigger the game, the more it is. He continues:


…we need to work with the community to get them to self-moderate, give people the tools to speak with each other in a positive fashion, so we can keep talking to the players openly.

Jorjani names Valve’s new game, Deadlock, as an example, stating that the company has probably learned a lot about dealing with toxicity from DOTA and Counter-Strike. For a company with so much investment in the process, there’s a bank of knowledge it can dip into.

It’s not the same for Arrowhead, a much smaller studio that is just getting used to dealing with such a large community.

All of that investment and process we’re learning painfully now will carry through to the next thing, whatever that may be.

The learning process extends toward PlayStation as well, which Jorjani says is recognizing that Arrowhead can be a spearhead for it to learn how to execute live-service games better in the future.


What are your opinions on the toxicity in the Helldivers 2 fandom? Let us know in the comments below!


Written by Vibha Hegde

Articles Published: 300

Vibha is an avid gamer that has been in the content writing space for over three years. With a Bachelors in Computer Applications, Vibha chooses to explore their passion for pop culture and gaming. When not hunkered over a controller trying to beat the Demon of Hatred in Sekiro, you can find Vibha relaxing to jazz during a digital painting session.