Helldivers II

Helldivers II has caused Sony to redraw its PC publishing strategy completely, and will not force PSN access from Steam

The fastest growing IP on PlayStation has been on the verge of collapse due to anti-player policies, but there is still hope.

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No one is oblivious to the situation with Helldivers II these days. Sony (which publishes the multiplayer title on both PlayStation 5 and PC) has attempted to force access to the game from a PlayStation Network account, both on console and Steam. And, given that the game achieved an 89% negative review rating (it's now at around 75%) and almost unprecedented review bombing in the industry, it seemed that Arrowhead's success was already one foot in the abyss.

Helldivers II

Sony is a gaming giant, but making the decision to force access on a platform other than their own is a symptom that many in decision-making positions at the company do not understand that PC is a separate market (and world). The execution has also been questionable, changing its legal basis and opening a major loophole where users (some with close to 100 hours of gameplay) have asked for a full refund claiming "retroactive changes" to the user agreement. Steam has had no choice but to accept the users' complaints and refund the money.

Helldivers II
Pic from X

The situation over the last 48 hours has been so alarming, and the opposition so fierce, that Sony issued a statement a few hours ago announcing that it will not force access to Helldivers II on PC via PSN. This is an unprecedented move, and shows that if enough pressure is applied by gamers, changes can be made.

"Helldivers fans -- we've heard your feedback on the Helldivers 2 account linking update. 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.

We're still learning what is best for PC players and your feedback has been invaluable. Thanks again for your continued support of Helldivers 2 and we'll keep you updated on future plans."

But the real scope of this change of direction goes beyond Helldivers 2. Sony is still relatively new to publishing games on PC, and it seems that they are now beginning to understand how the market works (where they are no longer the dominant force) and are setting a precedent for their future strategy. How will these decisions affect the multiplayer in Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, which is also coming to PC in a few days? We'll soon find out. For the time being, those most affected remain users in all territories where Steam access to Helldivers II has been suspended, although Sony may reinstate the shutdown later in the day.

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