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Sony Makes U-Turn On Helldivers 2 PSN Account Linking. A Win For Gamers?

Sony Makes U-Turn On Helldivers 2 PSN Account Linking. A Win For Gamers?

Sony appears to have bowed to pressure from Helldivers 2 players who bombarded the game with negative reviews over the weekend following the PlayStation maker’s mandate for players to link their PlayStation Network Account (PSN) to Steam.

Sony Makes U-Turn On Helldivers 2 PSN Account Linking. A Win For Gamers?

“Helldivers fans — we’ve heard your feedback on the Helldivers 2 account linking update, Sony wrote in a Monday, May 6, 2024, 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.”

“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.”

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Over the weekend, over 100,000 negative reviews were left on Helldivers 2 on Steam which plunged the game’s rating from “Mostly Positive” to “Mixed”. The earlier decision by Sony could have alienated players from regions without PSN. That would have effectively prevented players in such regions from accessing the game.

Unfortunately, Arrowhead Game Studios was also attacked by the Helldivers 2 community during the drama—even when they knew nothing about the decision by Sony. Therefore, it was unsurprising that Arrowhead’s CEO expressed relief after Sony rescinded the decision.

At the peak of the controversy, Helldivers 2 became unavailable for purchase in more than 150 regions. Also, it was reported that Steam started issuing refunds for the game irrespective of playtime. That was a bit unusual since players usually have two hours to decide whether they want a refund.

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A day before Sony relaxed the PSN rule, Pilestedt wrote, “We are talking solutions with PlayStation, especially for non-PSN countries. Your voice has been heard, and I am doing everything I can to speak for the community – but I don’t have the final say.”

Players continue to react to Sony’s U-turn on Helldivers 2

Sony Makes U-Turn On Helldivers 2 PSN Account Linking. A Win For Gamers?

Helldivers 2 community has taken over the comment section of Sony’s announcement that it is rescinding its decision on PSN to celebrate how it was a win for gamers and developers. A handle with the user @PirateSoftware said that although it was a win for players, the decision will leave a “lasting stain” on the brand.

Pocketpair’s community manager known simply as Bucky also weighed into the discussion saying, “Great decision, and glad it all got sorted out! However…it’ll be interesting to see what % of the Steam reviews actually change their review…”

Sharing a similar thought process with Bucky was Twitch streamer BakedGrizz who wrote, “Now can everyone quit taking this out on the Helldivers 2 Devs? They ended up in the crossfire for this and it wasn’t fair to them as they were doing what they were contractually obligated to do.”

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While the strong statement from the Helldivers 2 community which eventually forced Sony to make a U-turn can be judged a win for players, it came at a huge price to Arrowhead. This goes a long way to show how most developers pay the difficult price of poor decisions made by publishers.

Far too often, we have seen these bad decisions play out negatively in various ways—including the recent mass layoffs and studio closures that have characterized the game industry since 2023. Some of the layoffs have been blamed on publisher greed.

After Sony rescinded its PSN linking mandate, the negative reviews have started turning positive indicating that most players appreciate the work that Arrowhead has done on Helldivers 2. However, hitting them with a deluge of negative reviews was the only way to get Sony’s attention—and they did.

Sony Makes U-Turn On Helldivers 2 PSN Account Linking. A Win For Gamers?

Will you change any negative reviews you left on Helldivers 2? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.