“There were concerns there would be backlash”: Helldivers 2’s Johan Pilestedt Knew All Along the PSN Account Linking Would be a Problem, and Now He’s Fighting Against It

Johan Pilestedt is now taking the fight to Sony.

Helldivers 2


  • Arrowhead Game Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt knew the backlash the studio will face after Sony's mandate.
  • Players overseas are feeling left behind since PlayStation Network is not available in select regions.
  • Sony must have seen the negative impact of linking Steam accounts with PSN on Helldivers 2.
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Helldivers 2 is in the middle of the controversy and fans think it is the latest victim of Sony’s corporate greed and complete disregard for the game community. Johan Pilestedt, Arrowhead Game Studios CEO and game director was always well aware of the backlash the game might get.


The recent mandate to integrate or link accounts between Steam and Sony’s proprietary network is becoming a major problem. The service is not available in certain regions which led to the removal of the game and the backlash was already anticipated by the director.

Johan Pilestedt Expected the Backlash on Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 is being ridiculed because of Sony's inconsiderate decision that would affect countless players.
Helldivers 2 is being ridiculed because of Sony’s inconsiderate decision that would affect countless players.

It is unsurprising for the gaming community to voice their concerns and fight back against the questionable choices of game publishers like Sony. However, this issue is quite valid and the reaction is warranted. Pilestedt knew of the potential backlash of requiring players to sign in on PC with a PSN account for moderation and his hands are tied because of Sony’s leverage.


Initially, it was a requirement that was given by Sony months before launch but the unanticipated success led to the crash of servers and both developers and the publisher unilaterally decided to enable playing the game on PC without a PSN account.

It is unknown why Sony decided to change its decision months later and has made its priorities clear by abandoning the players who reside in the 177 regions where the network is unavailable rather than reversing the decision or expanding the network coverage.


The game director is extremely disappointed by how one decision turned the entire gaming community against the studio with negative reviews when in reality the publisher is to blame. The reason for enabling this requirement once more is for the sole purpose of moderation yet players were comfortable playing without the need to do so months before, perhaps Sony is neck deep with its interest in gaining new territory outside its flagship home console platform.

Johan Pilestedt Is Taking the Fall for Helldivers 2

The developers are on the receiving end of the hate Helldivers 2 is receiving from the gaming community.
The developers are on the receiving end of the hate Helldivers 2 is receiving from the gaming community.

Some regions have stricter laws regarding the creation of a PSN account which can be a hassle for others and a major risk for personal security for most. Players who reside in the United Kingdom are obligated to offer at least a valid ID, active phone number, or a facial scan which even Pilestedt thinks is a little too much.

The safety and freedom of the community are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and the player’s sensitive information could be stolen. The treatment that Arrowhead Game Studios is receiving from fans is quite unfair and unwarranted since they too are not fans of this new mandate.


However, this is something that is beyond their control. Perhaps there is still a chance to undo the decision since the entire situation is still fluid and subject to change, but the damage has already been done.

Are you in agreement with Sony’s decision to require PC players to link their PSN accounts to play Helldivers 2 on PC? Let us know in the comments below!


Written by Rouvin Josef Quirimit

Articles Published: 739

Rouvin is deeply fascinated by pop culture media ranging from comics, movies, TV shows and especially video games with a rich narrative.