Connect with us

Tech

Helldivers 2 CEO Says Arrowhead Must Fix the Game and Add to It at the Same Time ‘To Stay Relevant’ – IGN

Published

on

The boss of Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead has addressed player concern about bugs (not those bugs) as the studio continues to release new content and new premium warbonds.

Since Helldivers 2’s explosive release on PlayStation 5 and PC in February, Arrowhead has maintained a monthly release schedule for new premium warbonds. They’re essentially new battle passes that players work through to unlock new content, such as new weapons, new armor, and new cosmetics. Premium warbonds are unlocked via an in-game currency that can be obtained through gameplay, but can also be bought with real-world money.

Meanwhile, Arrowhead maintains the Galactic War, Helldivers 2’s meta narrative that has captivated the community since launch. Game Master Joel is pulling the strings from behind the scenes, issuing major orders that focus the player base on certain active fronts, lending Helldivers 2 an ongoing storyline even though no single-player campaign exists.

And then, on top of all that, Arrowhead adds new enemies, weapons, and even ship upgrades to the game, sometimes without announcement so players can discover them for themselves.

But Helldivers 2 is not without its bugs. In fact, Arrowhead itself publishes a list of known issues it’s currently working on even as it works on new content for the game. Some of these are particularly problematic, such as those affecting how weapons and some stratagems work, and players’ ability to play with the friends.

It’s this push and pull between fixing bugs and releasing new content that has sparked a debate within the Helldivers 2 community, with some calling on Arrowhead to down tools on things like premium warbonds in order to focus on bugs. Some have even suggested Arrowhead is under pressure from publisher Sony or other investors to release premium warbonds in order to hit revenue targets.

Enter Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt, who addressed one redditor’s post with an explanation for how the studio is approaching ongoing development of the Helldivers 2 live service. From the comments, it’s clear Pilestedt believes it’s important to release a steady stream of content in order for Helldivers 2 to remain relevant in what is an ultra competitive business for live service games, but also rejects the idea that Arrowhead is too small to do fix the game at the same time.

It’s easy to say ‘just fix, don’t add’, but the reality of the competitiveness in this industry is that we have to do both to stay relevant.

“Let me add some context,” Pilestedt began. “Arrowhead is independently owned by people working at the studio and not swayed by shareholders in the traditional sense. Of course we are in a great partnership with Sony where we agree on targets to hit etc. But there isn’t a forcing function or requirement per se.

“We want to deliver the best in the industry and we are calibrating our efforts of fixing vs new stuff. It’s easy to say ‘just fix, don’t add’, but the reality of the competitiveness in this industry is that we have to do both to stay relevant.

“We are figuring it out, the demands and expectations on the studio is high, all eyes are on us, and we have a sole purpose – to make this the best live game you’ve ever played. We just need to find our stride and balance.

“It’s a hot topic at the studio, and I’m sorry for the sloppy mistakes we’ve made as of recent.”

“The expectations from our friends at PlayStation are pretty simple: ‘make great game for players. We trust you.’

Then, in a subsequent post, Pilestedt explained further: “… please do not see this as a defensive post. I know we can do better as a studio. Also, my intention was just to say that the games industry is a complicated beast. We need to stay relevant and keep everyone entertained while fixing stuff. The expectations from our friends at PlayStation are pretty simple: ‘make great game for players. We trust you.’

“Nobody is forcing us. But at the same time, the pressure is real 🤔 😅 it’s very abstract. All love 💝”

Pilestedt had previously opened up about the size of Arrowhead, insisting that while it’s small compared to some triple-A studios, it shouldn’t be considered small. Arrowhead has around 100 people working on Helldivers 2, which is 20 times more than it had working on Magicka, its previous game, and 7.5 times larger than the Helldivers 1 team.

“We are optimizing our processes and hiring devs to boost the team,” Pilestedt added. “But 100 is still a decent size for a development team, and we aware of the issues in the releases – we will do better in the future.”

Arrowhead recently released Helldivers 2’s third premium warbond, dubbed Democratic Detonation, and added the terrifying Factory Striders to the Automaton front. If you’re looking for more on Helldivers 2, check out IGN’s feature on the Let Me Solo Her of Helldivers 2, a player who has answered over 100 SOS Beacons as part of a mission to help others.

Helldivers 2 has become one of the surprise hits of 2024 since launching in February, topping the charts on Steam and reportedly selling around three million copies. According to at least one analyst, it’s still growing. Check out IGN’s Helldivers 2 review to find out why it’s going down so well.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at wesley_yinpoole@ign.com or confidentially at wyp100@proton.me.

Continue Reading