Arrowhead is actually making a 'review bomb' cape to commemorate the Helldivers 2 PSN fiasco, complete with two huge negative review bars

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(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Helldivers 2 continues to make lemonade out of its biggest blunder. On the back of the "PSN-gate" fiasco that saw the best-selling shooter pounded with negative Steam reviews, delisted from a bunch of countries (an ongoing problem), and its publisher Sony pressured into reversing a disruptive PSN sign-in requirement, Arrowhead is now making a cheeky cape to commemorate the player protest.

A brief rewind: The same morning Sony reversed its decision last week, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt shared a community post pitching a cape based on Helldivers 2's Steam review graph—with its blue peaks and sudden negative drop as the review bombing began. Nobody was sure if he was taking the idea seriously, but that changed when he replied to one fan saying Arrowhead was "talking about a good name for it right now."

Two days ago, Pilestedt tweeted out a teaser of the cape—a black fabric with matte finish and, just visible in the corner, two long red bars representing over 200,000 negative Steam reviews, many of which have since been reverted back to positive ones. Adding to the cape's legitimacy is a recent reply from community manager Twinbeard on the Helldivers Discord:

"We already have a name," he said in reference to the review bomb cape, "should there ever hypothetically be a cape, that is."

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The teaser image tweeted by Johan Pilestedt. (Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

This would be the second cape made in reaction to a real-world player effort: In early April, Arrowhead celebrated the liberation of Malevelon Creek with a new in-game holiday and commemorative cape for all.

It's nice that Arrowhead wants to acknowledge the review bomb protest that led to Sony's reversal. It's also unavoidably awkward. The Malevelon Creek celebration was a feel-good, in-fiction victory for the community, but PSN-gate is a mess that's still ongoing for those still locked out of a game they played for months. Then there's the unprecedented strangeness of a studio endorsing and celebrating the review bombing of its own game—a practice that's proven powerful but imperfect over the years—weeks after one of its community managers was fired for publicly supporting said review bombing/refunding as it was happening. It's never boring keeping up with Helldivers 2.

The assumption is that the yet-unnamed cape will be released for free sometime soon, perhaps around the next big war event, which could be any day now.

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(Image credit: Twinbeard via Discord)
Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.