Helldivers 2 has been pulled from sale in 177 countries as its PSN linking requirement rolls out

Helldivers 2 must balance bug fixing and new content to stay relevant, developer says

Helldivers 2 has been pulled from sale in 177 countries as its PSN linking requirement rolls out in countries where PSN is not available.

Developer Arrowhead said this linking requirement was made optional when the game released at the beginning of February due to technical issues. However, that initial “grace period” for Helldivers 2 players on Steam is now over, and on Friday, Helldivers 2’s publisher Sony announced that players on Steam will soon be required to link to a PlayStation Network (PSN) account.

Since then, the game has been battered by almost 200,000 negative reviews from Helldivers 2 players on Steam.

Helldivers 2 – PlayStation 5/PC – The Digital Foundry Tech Review.Watch on YouTube

As we reported yesterday, Sony’s opaque messaging has further confused things. On the website page that explains how to sign in to PSN when playing a game on PC in the UK, it now says that “some PlayStation games may require you sign in and link to an account for PSN”, but the US version of the same page advises that “signing in to PSN is optional when playing a PlayStation game on PC”.

Current Steam players can expect to see a mandatory login from 30th May, and will “be required to have linked a Steam and PlayStation Network account” by 4th June. New players will see this roll out from next week, however.

“Account linking provides a consistent and reliable means of reporting, moderation, actioning and appeal for ALL Helldivers 2 players,” a community manager told the community via Discord yesterday as a justification for the directive.

“We take online safety seriously and this is our main way to protect players from griefing and abuse: by enabling the banning and suspension of players that engage in that type of behaviour. By linking accounts, you have the benefit of our extensive support team infrastructure for reporting these bad actors (and our appeals process if you are banned/suspended). This all helps us to make Helldivers 2 a safer and more enjoyable space for everyone.”

At the time of writing, it appears Sony is refusing to refund players unhappy with the directive (although some players maintain Steam has), and developer Arrowhead has not commented on the issue openly on social media. It is, however, providing some updates to players via its official Discord, which includes a reminder that “PSN requires users to register in their country or territory of residence”.

“Ouch, right in the review score,” wrote Helldivers 2 creative director and Arrowhead CEO, Johan Pilestedt, on Twitter yesterday.