Sony revokes widely despised Helldivers 2 PSN linking policy

In the days since Sony Interactive Entertainment announced an unpopular Helldivers 2 and PlayStation linking policy, players have been flooding the game’s Steam page wil negative reviews. By Sunday, more than 200,000 of Helldivers 2’s 266,126 reviews on Steam were negative, filed in the aftermath of the disastrous announcement. But the review-bombing worked: Sony heard Helldivers 2 players and announced Monday that it’s no longer requiring Steam players to link a PlayStation Network account.

“Helldivers fans — we’ve heard your feedback on the Helldivers 2 account linking update,” Sony wrote from the PlayStation X account. “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.”

Helldivers 2 game director and Arrowhead Game Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt added that he’s “impressed by the willpower of the Helldivers 2 community.” Over the weekend, Pilestedt, who is known for his transparency on social media, had been updating players via X that Sony was in active conversation with Arrowhead over the policy, but that he didn’t have the final say.

The newly enforced policy was meant to begin with a May 6 update, forcing all new Helldivers 2 players to have and connect a PlayStation Network account to their Steam account. Current Helldivers 2 players had until May 30 to sign up for a PlayStation Network account and then link it. If they didn’t do so, they’d be unable to log into Helldivers 2. (The Helldivers 2 page has always had a small notice alerting players of the account-linking policy, but it had not been enforced and, seemingly, people just didn’t see it.)

The community was immediately furious: Not only was the policy change sprung on them after they purchased the game, players had some legitimate concerns over creating PlayStation Network accounts. Some players pointed to a string of data breaches that Sony’s been a victim of as reasoning for why they were unwilling to make a PlayStation Network account. Others, who were happily playing a game they purchased until recently, would soon be unable to access Helldivers 2 due to Sony’s regional restrictions — there are more than 150 countries where players are unable to create legitimate PlayStation Network accounts. Briefly, Helldivers 2 became unavailable for sale in the countries unsupported by Sony.

Valve, which owns Steam, began issuing at least some refunds to Helldivers 2 players ahead of Sony’s Monday morning announcement. Because of the change, however, Helldivers 2 players can now happily return to restoring democracy — and, perhaps, adjusting their negative reviews. Though the Helldivers 2 community is celebrating the win across Discord and Reddit, the chaotic weekend will certainly leave a sore spot for both Arrowhead and Sony.