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Helldivers 2 drops PSN account linking requirement for Steam players after widespread backlash


It’s been a tumultuous few days for Helldivers 2, as one of this year’s most beloved runaway hits managed to seemingly undo all of its goodwill and earn the ire of thousands of players in the blink of an eye.

The backlash was sparked last week after it was announced that everyone would soon need to link their Steam account to a PlayStation Network account to continue playing the multiplayer bug-and-bot shooter, leading to 100,000 negative reviews on Steam and the game being pulled from sale completely in over 170 countries where it’s not possible to even create a PSN account. After all the hubbub, Sony has now reversed their decision, confirming that the mandatory account linking will be dropped as a requirement.

The requirement of linking your Steam account to a PlayStation account was originally planned for Helldivers 2 upon launch, but was pushed back to lessen at least one load on the game’s already wobbly servers, as they struggled under its booming popularity.

Even so, huge numbers of players have been able to enjoy the game just fine up to this point without needing to sign up for a PlayStation account – and those in countries where PSN accounts can’t be made have been able to enjoy the game they paid for, too, making the decision to reintroduce it as a non-optional requirement quite the frustration.

A Helldiver on a rocky planet firing at Terminids in a canyon with another Helldiver fighting a bug up close to the right.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/PlayStation

That frustration can be seen in the fortunes of Helldivers 2’s reception on Steam, where its Mostly Positive rating plummeted to Mixed – with over 200,000 negative reviews making its latest average Mostly Negative – last week following the announcement. Some players reported being able to successfully request refunds on Steam – despite being dozens of hours over the usual two-hour playtime limit – by citing the change in account requirements.

Even the head of developers Arrowhead appeared to agree, with Johan Pilestedt admitting “I guess it’s warranted” to the criticism.

“Sorry everyone for how this all transpired,” Pilestedt said, adding that the studio were speaking with PlayStation about a possible solution.

Helldivers fans — 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.

We’re still…

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) May 6, 2024

In the wake of the widespread backlash and Arrowhead’s own input, PlayStation appeared to ultimately have a change of heart, announcing that the mandatory PSN account linking had been dropped as a requirement.

“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,” PlayStation’s official Xitter account shared, adding a somewhat understated acknowledgement of players’ fury: “We’re still learning what is best for PC players and your feedback has been invaluable.”

Since PlayStation’s decision to drop the account linking requirement – which would’ve come into force today – Helldivers 2’s Steam reviews have started to climb once again, returning the game’s overall and recent reviews to a Mixed reception for now.

Whether all the lost goodwill and players might be recovered remains to be seen, but at least you can continue to play in the knowledge you won’t be forced into signing up for a PlayStation account – whether your frustrations are due to data sharing, accessibility or just overall ease – just to play on PC.

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