Helldivers 2 Boss Explains Why Third-Person Format Was Key To Game's Huge Success

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Johan Pilestedt, CEO & Creative Director at Arrowhead Studios spoke at length about the design choices his team made that led to the success of Helldivers 2. Helldivers 2 is defying expectations in terms of popularity and sales, which forced the development team to put out mulitple fires during the first days of its release. However, the game is in a much more stable state these days.

One of the biggest surprises with Helldivers 2 is the change in perspective from its predecessor. A change as big as this one could have easily turned its existing fanbase against the game and failed to attract a newer audience. However, the gamble is paying off. When discussing this change, Pilestedt says “we wound up feeling really excited by the viscerality of the combat, which made us committed to exploring what Helldivers would be like in third-person.”

The sense of unhinged chaos is another aspect gamers are enjoying when playing Helldivers 2, leading to ample opportunities for viral content to spread across social media. According to Pilestedt achieving this was a tall task for the development. He says that “in Helldivers 2, each player has their own perception of events that have unfolded,” and that things are both lost and gained from this approach.

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There was also a back and forth on the development team as to how similar to the first Helldivers the game should be. “Our philosophy is always don’t mimic, understand deeply and go from there” says Pilestedt. This lead to the team focusing on keeping key elements from the original Helldivers, such as the friendly fire and intense combat. With friendly fire being one of the aspects gamers are having the most fun with, rather than something that is bemoaned.

The last element of Helldivers 2 that seems to have prolonged its success is how well the developers are using social media the communicate with the player base. Grandiose announcements are made to introduce new gameplay additions, which seem like they are ripped straight out of the world of the game. With so many things going for Helldivers 2 it seems the game will remain popular for some time to come.