Sony backs down on demand that Helldivers 2 players log into a PSN account

helldivers 2 operation swift disassembly
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

A few days ago, Sony posted a message to Steam noting that, "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." That went down well with PC players, who were delighted to be allowed to hand over their personal details to Sony. 

No, wait, that's not what happened. They dropped over 200,000 negative reviews on Helldivers 2, leading to an apology from developer Arrowhead's CEO.

While some of the complaints on social media have edged over into tantrum territory, there is a valid issue behind the uproar. Not every country can access the PlayStation Network, and Helldivers 2 ended up being pulled from sale in 177 countries and territories that could previously buy the game and play it without worry.

Now, after three days of pure shitstorm, Sony has blinked. In a tweet, the publisher said, "we've heard your feedback on the Helldivers 2 account linking update. The May 6 update, which would have required Steam and PlayStation Network account linking for new players and for current players beginning May 30, will not be moving forward."

Sony continued, "We're still learning what is best for PC players and your feedback has been invaluable. Thanks again for your continued support of Helldivers 2 and we'll keep you updated on future plans."

Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt replied to say, "Firstly, I am impressed by the willpower of the @helldivers2 community and your ability to collaborate. Secondly I want to thank our partners and friends at @PlayStation for quickly and effectively making the decision to leave PSN linking optional. We together want to set a new standard for what a live game is, and how developers and community can support each other to create the best game experiences."

Hopefully Helldivers 2 will return to sale in all those places where it became unavailable, and maybe we'll see that user review average shoot back up again. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.