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Spread democracy with Helldivers 2
Image via Arrowhead Game Studios

Sony titles like God of War got review bombs as Helldivers 2 players conducted their own Major Order

The aftermath of this war could affect many other games going forward.

Last week was brutal for the Helldivers 2 development team—and Sony in general. The news that players would be required to link PSN accounts to Steam to play resulted in the review-bombing of several PlayStation titles on PC.

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Arrowhead Game Studios, the developers of Helldivers 2, encountered a mob of angry fans who were review bombing the game and waging a vicious campaign on social media to boycott it. The number of negative reviews was nigh-on record-setting, and undoubtedly helped convince Sony to eventually walk back the PSN requirement.

Helldivers 2 review bombed the game on Steam. Image via Arrowhead Game Studios
Helldivers 2 review bombed the game on Steam. Image via Arrowhead Game Studios

Johan Pilestedt, the studio’s head, tried calm players and fans on X prior to Sony’s announcement, but the conflict kept escalating with what seemed like a custom Major Order from the community. While they review-bombed Helldivers 2 on Steam, the bombs also fell on many other Sony games on the platform, such as God of War, The Last of Us Part 1, and more.

During the wave of complaints, Steam opted to issue refunds to players due to a lack of clarity in the game’s description or inadequate transparency. Pilestedt said this account linking was always part of the deal, but for various, it was not added earlier.

Other parts of the community and the internet in general compared this kind of account linking to titles like Rocket League, Red Dead Redemption, Bethesda games, and many more. But one of the main differences in this particular case was that Sony has restrictions in certain regions and countries, so players could be banned permanently if they made an account in a country other than where they lived—which they would need to do in order to create a PSN account in one of those restricted countries.

This could set a precedent for other live-service games in the future; studios will need to be more careful about what kind of accounts they will make the player link to in order to play the game. Hopefully, future games will have less of these hoops to jump through for players.

Titles like FIFA or the IPs from EA in general make the player agree with their terms, link an EA account, and log into that account to play, especially on PC. But the backlash to Helldivers 2 attempting to enact this measure months after launch is probably the biggest one that’s ever been seen, to the point where players are now needing to go back and edit their negative reviews of the beloved title.

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Image of Lucas Lapetina
Lucas Lapetina
I'm a writer who is passionate about video games and movies. I'm also a Pokémon fan and a Godzilla enthusiast. I really enjoy losing myself in a good story.