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Sony backs down on Helldivers 2 PSN account requirement

Questions still remain over account linking but Sony is holding off (for now).

Futuristic soldiers with flag on Mars-like terrain.

Sony has reversed course and paused Helldivers 2 players needing a PSN account to continue playing. This is after a weekend of review bombing the game on Steam, which hit harder than the heavy ordinance used in the game.

Last week, Sony announced that new users of Helldivers 2 would require a linked PlayStation Network account as of May 6th, and current players would require one as of May 30th.

On the surface, this didn’t look too big, as other games on other platforms require similar things. The game is one of the best PlayStation titles and a sales hit for publisher Sony.

However, since Helldivers 2 has been out since February 8th and this new requirement could remove access from users worldwide (like Puerto Rico), the internet wasn’t happy.

Over the weekend, Helldivers 2 has been a hot-button topic. The devs have been trying to shift blame and reassure players that they are pushing back against Sony.

The Steam reviews for the game went from “Overwhelmingly Positive” to “Overwhelmingly Negative” over the weekend. Steam delisted the game in 177 countries and began to offer refunds, even if users played over 2 hours.

Helldivers 2 devs say they were on the side of players

PS5 Exclusives - Helldivers 2 bugs and giant bug on sand
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

Helldivers 2 nearly overnight went from the internet’s golden child to a cautionary tale of flying too close to the sun. That is until this morning when Sony released the following statement:

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.”

That is a massive deal. Kudos to the internet for coming together and telling a major corporation that this wasn’t OK.

It’s enough of a pain to have an account when you get a new game (see Sea of Thieves on PS5), but adding this requirement months after release is simply a stupid move.

I hope this is a learning experience for the industry. Hopefully, Helldivers 2 will show that pushing back against policies and corporate greed can get players somewhere.

I hope the review scores get restored, and Sony gets some positive reinforcement for backing down on their decision. Lastly, I hope Helldivers 2 continues its dominance online and continues to set the bar for what an indie game can accomplish.

Did you have your access to Helldivers 2 removed over the weekend? Are you worried about third-party account requirements for online games in general? Drop us a line in the comments below, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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