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With Nearly 200k Negative Reviews, The Helldivers 2 PSN Saga Is Far From Over

The game has even been unlisted in countries that don’t support PSN

The maelstrom of activity following the announcement of Helldivers 2 players requiring a PSN account on PC in order to continue playing is still escalating, with the game’s Steam page now reflecting the full ire of the Helldivers community.

The game now sits at a little under 200,000 negative Steam reviews from the last two days, with very little sign of slowing down.

In fact, by most metrics it really does seem to show that this is only the beginning – with the activity of each edging out the previous one. This is likely spurred by advice from the Community Managers of the game, who openly make mention that people should absolutely leave negative reviews and request refunds via the official Discord for the game.

Spitz, the Associate Community Manager for Helldivers 2, wasn’t exactly subtle about this, saying the following:

Players making their displeasure known through reviews, refunds etc. gives us more pull in the discussions with Sony. They don’t read our Discord. It hurts to see the game’s popularity suffer in ratings, but discussions are ongoing and our team is on the side of the players in this fight. It’s unrealistic to expect people to make PSN accounts in different regions to get past the account linking requirement. We’re aware of that. Discussions are ongoing.

Arrowhead Game Studios have done a lot to maintain a semblance of trust with their community, and given the apparent solidarity with the players – it’s easy to see why the effort remains so coordinated.

For some, the requirement of an account may seem insignificant and confusing as to why it would cause such backlash – but as mentioned in my previous article, it’s a little more complex than that. Obviously people are not pleased that a PSN account is now being made mandatory, after being optional for such a long while – and even the CEO of Arrowhead has made mention that a PSN account was always to be essential, there was simply a grace period that made it optional while issues were present post-release.

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The stickier point is twofold:

  • Less than half of the countries in the world allow the creation of a PSN account
  • Helldivers 2 was available to purchase on Steam within many of those countries

So now there is absolutely a number of players that are in an unwinnable position, because they are not able to create the mandatory account – and if they were to do so via ‘creative’ methods, such as using a VPN to appear elsewhere – they are then breaking Sony’s Terms of Service, and are absolutely eligible to be banned.

Within the Discord, comments have also been made to try and placate these very valid concerns – with Spitz also working to reassure the community that players in affected countries won’t be locked out of Helldivers 2.

If a better solution isn’t provided for players who are in regions without PSN coverage, I’m assured that we won’t be making the requirement mandatory for those players. We’re not going to force people to either break Sony TOS or not play the game

While this is comforting to read, what is far less comforting is seeing that the Steam page for Helldivers 2 has now been updated – blocking sale or product activation in the PSN-less areas of the world:

Now many are attributing this to action being taken of Steam’s part, given that they are now receiving a glut of refund requests – both out of player solidarity and a very valid concern that their product is no longer valid – but that doesn’t stop players further attributing this to all be part of Sony’s plan. On the topic of refunds, people have reported that more than a few refunds have been processed with valid reasoning, regardless of people exceeding the two-hour playtime limit that usually prevents such a thing from happening.

In the grander scheme of things, the lack of a proper comment from Sony on the matter is becoming overwhelming to those that are stuck in limbo. Comments from every angle of Arrowhead Studios suggest that they are willing to do whatever they are capable of, but given the involvement of a company as staggeringly massive as Sony the read of the room is one of despair.

But all people can do is wait. Given that the game is reportedly the seventh highest grossing Sony published game of all time, you’d think they’d have motivation to respond reasonably quickly.

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Written By Ash Wayling

Known throughout the interwebs simply as M0D3Rn, Ash is bad at video games. An old guard gamer who suffers from being generally opinionated, it comes as no surprise that he is both brutally loyal and yet, fiercely whimsical about all things electronic. On occasion will make a youtube video that actually gets views. Follow him on YouTube @Bad at Video Games

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