Helldivers 2 has sold over 12 million copies, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation game ever: 'There are more Helldivers than there are Swedes'

helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Every game studio has the same, overriding goal: To field enough players to destroy Sweden. Companies like Capcom and Activision have, of course, had more than enough players in their myriad series to occupy Stockholm for some time, but now a plucky upstart has joined their ranks. 

Arrowhead just announced that Helldivers 2 has sold over 12 million copies since its February release, meaning "There are more Helldivers than there are Swedes," in the words of CEO Johan Pilestedt. Sweden has around 10.5 million people in it, if you're wondering, and Arrowhead is a Swedish studio, just in case you're baffled by the comparison.

Sony also put out its consolidated financial results for the 2023 financial year, in which it called Helldivers 2 its "biggest PC hit title to date." What's more, the game's sales have beaten "the record set by God of War Ragnarok" back in 2022, meaning it's PlayStation's new fastest-selling game of all time. 

It's difficult to find concrete numbers for Helldivers 1's sales, but I would be astonished if Helldivers 2 wasn't outpacing its predecessor at an exponential rate. Helldivers 2 has benefited from downright epidemic word-of-mouth and a level of popularity sufficient to practically crash its servers at launch. Plus, it's dominated videogames discourse comfortably for three months now. 

We can compare it to Arrowhead's first Magicka game, though: That sold nearly 3 million copies on Steam in about three years. So yeah, Helldivers 2 is doing a little better.

It's a richly deserved success. I'm not much of a multiplayer guy, but I can tell you that Helldivers has had the PC Gamer offices in something of a death-grip since it hit three months ago, and my understanding is that everyone's been having a very good time reducing the enemies of managed democracy to a fine red paste (or nuts and bolts), at least when they can keep up with the rapid updates.

Pilestedt doesn't give us much of a breakdown of the game's 12 million sales, save that about 150,000 of them are Swedes themselves. Barely one percent of the overall player total, in other words, and surely insufficient to stop the game's advance into Småland. That's the plan, right? I'm pretty sure that's the plan.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.