Alright, fun's over—Helldivers 2 wants you to link your Steam account with a PlayStation Network one, with Sony reminding players it was a 'grace period'

helldivers 2 democratic detonation
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Helldivers 2 has been out for a handful of months now—and it's been monstrously popular, so popular in fact that people could barely play it. There's also been another side effect of the game's runaway success: you were actually supposed to make a PlayStation Network account like, months ago. The servers were just too busted to handle it.

As revealed in a recent statement by Sony via the Helldivers 2 Steam page, players will have to create and link a PlayStation Network account beginning May 6: "Due to technical issues at the launch of HELLDIVERS™ 2, we allowed the linking requirements for Steam accounts to a PlayStation Network account to be temporarily optional. That grace period will now expire."

The reason for the change, the post states, is that Sony uses its internal systems as "our main way to protect players from griefing and abuse by enabling the banning of players that engage in that type of behaviour. It also allows those players that have been banned the right to appeal."

The grace period is longer than May 6, however—Steam users can expect to be prompted with an annoying login screen starting May 30, and will be required to have joined their accounts at the hip June 4.

One thing to note before we really get into this—this requirement was, unfortunately, here the whole time. A quick jaunt onto the Wayback Machine version of the store page pre-release reveals that Helldivers 2: "Requires 3rd-Party Account: PlayStation Network". Judging by the general community response, this supposed rugpull has surprised a lot of players, but I think it's fair to say that this isn't exactly fine print. Easily missable at best.

It should also be noted that, as per PlayStation's country selector, PSN has region limitations. As players on the game's subreddit have observed, while you can just lie, doing so is against ToS and could get you banned unless Sony makes an exception: 

"All information provided during Account creation, and during the use of your Account, must be accurate and complete. We reserve the right to suspend, terminate or restrict any Account (including as stated in Section 12.2 of this Agreement) that uses or was created using false information." Further sections back this up, calling out regions of residence specifically.

Over on the game's Discord, community manager Twinbeard presents less of a united front between Sony and Arrowhead. While the development studio was obviously aware of the eventual changes (again, this has been a thing since the pre-order days), the statement itself comes from above.

"The statement wasn't ours," Twinbeard writes, "and that piece of important information was missing. As soon as we saw that we asked for more info and updates on some details for the linking."

(Image credit: Helldivers 2 Discord)

In a later message, Twinbeard added: "we need an official statement before doing so. Anything we say can [and] will be picked up and can be misunderstood by players, media etc. We're replying to as much as we can, but for more info we're waiting for more info from Sony."

While I ultimately see this as more of an annoyance than anything, especially since I've only got myself to blame for not seeing that requirement in the rear-view, I can understand why some players might be upset. After all, finding out you might not be able to play your favourite game is a bummer. Besides, while I'd love to believe that everyone who needs to link their account will be able to—c'mon, we all know stuff breaks.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.