“Such a DUH way to put it”: Helldivers 2 Fans are Slowly Realising Arrowhead and Johan Pilestedt May Be as Big a Victim as Us in the Sony Controversy

Helldivers 2 in Turmoil: Praise Turns to Protest Amid PSN Controversy

Helldivers 2

SUMMARY

  • Helldivers 2 faces backlash over mandatory PSN account link.
  • Initial praise for Helldivers 2 overshadowed by recent criticism.
  • Players review bomb and demand refunds, criticizing Sony's policies.
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Helldivers 2, the 2024 sequel to 2015’s Helldivers, can’t stay out of the spotlight. But recent concerns regarding the game aren’t for the best of reasons. The cooperative sci-fi shooter, developed by Arrowhead Studios, initially met stellar acclaim amongst fans who saw the game as a testament to putting players first.

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However recent controversy surrounding PSN has sparked criticism of the studio’s business practices and even resulted in calls for refunds and boycotts of the game.

Helldivers 2: From Breakout Success to Controversy

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The critical acclaim Helldivers 2 achieved without being a AAA title is laudable. Despite being developed by a relatively small studio, and not having the budget of AAA game studios Helldivers 2 still became a massive hit from the moment it was released.

Helldiver 2’s expectation-defying ascension saw the game sell over 8 million copies within its first two months of release. Besides the commercial success, the third-person shooter was also praised for its excellent cooperative gameplay.

But all good things must come to an end, and not even a Starship Troopers-inspired co-op video game is an exception. Recently controversy reared its ugly head when PSN accounts became mandatory to play the game.

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Many players who initially praised Helldivers 2 now feel like they’ve been duped.

Arrowhead Addresses Player Criticism

Upon Helldiver 2’s launch in February server issues made it so the PC version of the game did not require a PSN account. However earlier this month Sony, the game’s publisher, and Arrowhead Studios announced the “grace period” for not linking a PSN account was over.

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The negative criticism lobbed at Arrowhead Studios has been extensive, with many feeling the studio has broken a promise to fans. Arrowhead Studios has taken the side of the players in the fiasco, or at least intends to shift the bulk of the blame to Sony Interactive.

It seems the upfront approach of Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt has successfully reshaped some of the dialogue around fan criticisms. With some users coming out in support of Pilestedt’s statement.

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However, this is not a unanimous opinion, with many players still feeling that Pilestedt and Arrowhead did not do enough to ensure this situation did not take place.

Many players were taken aback by the requirement to link their PSN account to play. They believed that this requirement was not communicated effectively, and some players feel that it is not necessary for PC users. The requirement has also caused disappointment for players in regions where PSN is not available, as they are either unable to access the game or forced to use VPNs. Moreover, some players are concerned about potential data collection by Sony, particularly in light of prior security breaches.

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The issue has kicked up a social media storm with players review bombing Helldivers 2 on Steam and demanding refunds, which it appears Steam has been happy to oblige so far. Players have even called for a boycott, with several people canceling their PSN subscriptions in protest. Coupled with the recent censorship controversy surrounding Stellar Blade, it’s likely that Sony is feeling some heat.

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Written by Chad Glapion

Articles Published: 22

Chad Glapion is an avid gamer since the mid-'90s, with a passion for narrative-focused and grand strategy games. He's also a pet dog and reptile enthusiast and a writer of speculative fiction. Personal favorite games include the original Mass Effect trilogy & the Crusader Kings series.