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Sony reverses unpopular Helldivers 2 choice after blistering participant response

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Stand down, Helldivers. Your battle is gained. Late final week, Sony introduced that Helldivers 2, one of the crucial fashionable multiplayer video games of the 12 months, would require Steam gamers to hyperlink their account to a PlayStation Community account. After a weekend of robust participant backlash, together with evaluate bombing the sport on Steam, Sony reversed course earlier this morning and can now not require PC gamers to hyperlink to a PSN account.

The energy of that participant response can’t be understated. Inside hours of the preliminary announcement, Helldivers 2 acquired over 14,000 detrimental evaluations on Steam. This quantity ballooned to over 200,000 detrimental evaluations within the two days after, sufficient to reverse the sport’s “overwhelmingly Positive” ranking to “overwhelmingly detrimental.” Although evaluate bombing is usually seen as an excessive motion gamers can take, it was apparently inspired by one of Helldivers 2’s community managers.

“I would like folks to make their displeasure recognized in a spot the place it’d really make a distinction,” Spitz, a Helldivers 2 group supervisor, wrote within the sport’s Discord server. “Steam evaluations and refund requests will try this.”

However gamers weren’t content material to only go after Helldivers 2. Arrowhead Sport Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt expressed dismay that gamers had been additionally focusing on the unique Helldivers. “It deeply saddens me that @HelldiversGame can also be being evaluate bombed because of the latest @helldivers2 controversy,” he wrote on X.

The evaluate bombing created a knock-on impact for the sport’s presence on Steam. Because the information caught on, gamers and others identified that the PlayStation Community was not accessible in sure international locations, which means that the requirement would trigger gamers in these international locations to lose entry to a sport they paid for. Steam tracker web site Steamdb reported that the game had been delisted in 177 international locations the place PSN was not accessible, and there have been experiences from gamers that Steam was issuing refunds to players beyond the typical refund window. Then, early Monday morning, Sony introduced that it could rescind the PSN linking requirement.

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On social media, gamers questioned how this all occurred. Although the PSN account linking was at all times deliberate for the sport and indicated on its Steam web page, Pilestedt wrote that the unstable situation of the sport’s launch pressured them to delay implementing the requirement. He additionally acknowledged that there have been apparently inside discussions with PlayStation that the requirement would anger followers.

“When servers exploded on launch, fast choices needed to be made, comparable to turning off linking,” Pilestedt wrote on X, “And now, lastly, the requirement to reenable got here from PS [PlayStation] (to assist with moderation) – and we needed to comply though there have been issues there can be backlash.”

Now that the choice has been reversed, Pilestedt expressed appreciation for followers and thanked PlayStation for resolving the matter swiftly. The sport has been restored within the international locations the place it was beforehand eliminated, and it looks like gamers are altering their detrimental evaluations, with Helldivers 2 now sitting at a “combined” ranking because the variety of Positive evaluations slowly ticks up. Pilestedt even poked enjoyable on the entire occasion, sharing a graphic from a group member that turned the sport’s detrimental evaluate Steam graph into a design for the capes players wear in-game.

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