Sony reverses controversial ‘Helldivers 2’ game update after heaps of backlash from fans

Helldivers II is a new game where you’re in the line of battle in galactic warfare.
“Helldivers II” is a new game where you’re in the line of battle in galactic warfare.
Stephany Ortiz

“Helldivers 2” released Feb. 8, 2024 and was quickly crowned “Game of the Year” for 2024 by a vast majority of extremely devoted fans online.

“‘Helldivers 2’ is the rare modern multiplayer game that does almost everything right,” wrote IGN critic Will Borger. “It’s an incredible time, and certainly one of the most fun multiplayer shooters I’ve played in years.”

The game has since built up an insanely massive amount of fans and seems like everyone is getting their fair share of enjoyment from the game. However, this was set to change in a big way.

Online uproar first started when it was released that Playstation was moving to force players who are using the game’s online capabilities to link their Steam account with their Playstation Network (PSN) account before joining servers, something that before had never been a requirement.

Now, you may be thinking, so what? This shouldn’t be a huge deal, it should only take players a few minutes to create a PSN account before jumping back in. What’s a few more minutes?

Well, this is neglecting to mention the fact that the Playstation Network is unavailable in many countries, countries that are home to a large number of “Helldivers 2” players.

Now, instead of playing the game they paid full price for, players in any of these 177 countries without the Playstation Network would soon be unable to access “Helldivers 2” servers, stripping them of the right to play the game they initially bought.

Naturally, this caused a bit of discourse online over the ethics of such a monumental switch-up in the game after release.

Within just a few hours, “Helldivers 2” got bombarded with tens of thousands of negative reviews on Steam. This number quickly grew to 200,000 just a couple days later.

To put it into perspective, “Helldivers 2” is a game that before would have been tough to find a single negative review about. Now, the negative reviews have seemingly balanced out all the praise the game received upon release.

“Review bombing” isn’t a new practice in the gaming industry. “Cyberpunk 2077,” another hugely popular game, was reviewed to an even worse degree and even now still sees the lasting effect. But “Helldivers 2” is currently the shining example in the gaming landscape.

Just a few days after this decision was initially published, Sony announced early on Monday morning that they would no longer be going through with the change, and players who would previously have been unable to log into PSN would still be able to play online.

“I want people to make their displeasure known in a place where it might actually make a difference,” wrote Spitz, a “Helldivers 2” community manager. “Steam reviews and refund requests will do that.”

This news just goes to show how powerful players are in the modern era. A decision that the public  didn’t like, and wouldn’t stand for, was retracted with no other reason except to stop the insane amount of backlash. 

Something like this would never have been seen 20 or even 10 years ago. Social media has unlocked a whole new world of influence for gamers.

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