Sony Walks Back Helldivers 2 PSN Update After Valve Yanks Game From Steam

helldivers 2
Helldivers 2 has been an unexpected hit for developer Arrowhead Game Studios, but Sony almost screwed it all up. The publisher recently announced that it would force all PC players to connect their game to a PlayStation Network (PSN) account. The player base revolted, and then Valve got involved. Now, Sony is backing down.

Initially, the fervor over this decision was limited to the annoyance of multiple logins for a game. This is something all gamers have encountered in recent years. You log into Steam (or your game repository of choice) to download a title only to be met with another login screen or maybe even a clunky launcher app that needs updating and additional management. It's a mess, but you can plow through the bad UX in a few minutes to get to your game.

However, the Helldivers 2 situation has an additional wrinkle. It soon became clear that Helldivers 2 was going to become inaccessible for a significant chunk of the players who turned it into a surprise success. Sony published the game on Steam earlier this year with no PSN requirement. It claims that it was always the intention to have PSN integration, but it wasn't ready at launch. A lot of folks bought it, which set up the headache Sony has dealt with over the past week.

While Steam is available in almost all regions, Sony's PSN is much more limited, with about 70 supported countries in total. If you live someplace else, you can't set up a PSN profile and therefore can't play Helldivers 2, even if you've been playing it happily for months without PSN. Following the announcement, Valve delisted the game in 177 regions, according to GamesRadar. Players who were going to be locked out started demanding refunds, and of course, the internet at large turned against the game. Reviews on Steam took a negative turn after being overwhelmingly positive since launch.
Sony is a big company, and it takes time to turn the ship, but it has finally realized not to mess with success in this case. The company says it has "heard your feedback," which is an understatement. People were very upset, but for once, being upset on the internet worked.

Sony says the May 6th update, which was going to set up the PSN account system for full implementation on May 30th, will not move forward. It's unclear if this hiccup will negatively impact Helldivers 2's continued success, but players who didn't get a refund can continue fighting the good fight.