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Sony cancels Helldivers 2 PSN linking, but is that really the end?

Helldivers planting a flag in the desert democracy wins again

Sony announced it will roll back the controversial requirement that forced Helldivers 2 PC players to link a PSN account to their game.

The widespread love for Helldivers 2 has surprised fans, devs, and publisher Sony alike. Once seen as an unexpected sequel to a moderately popular top-down shooter, Helldivers 2 became the internet’s favorite new shooter. One of the major reasons for the game’s runaway success is its simultaneous release on PC and PlayStation consoles.  

Within two months of its release, Helldivers 2 has reportedly sold over 8 million units and regularly ranks among the most-played games on Steam. Sony took notice of the game’s success, and from the perspective of fans, promptly dropped the ball. The publisher announced it would enforce the PSN account requirement for Helldivers 2 players on PC.

Though advertised on the Steam page, Helldivers 2 still allowed fans without PSN accounts to play freely. With the enforcement of the PSN rule, players from dozens of countries would have to violate the service’s own rules to sign up. After heavy criticism, Sony finally buckled. 

Can I play Helldivers 2 without a PSN account on PC?

Sony announced Steam users will no longer be required to link PSN accounts to continue playing Helldivers 2.

For a while, fans worried the publisher would stick to its guns. Days prior to the decision, Helldivers 2 was delisted on Steam from several countries. The decision was likely to prevent countries without PlayStation Network support from being able to install the game. 

It is unknown if the decision came from Valve or Sony, but Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead Game Studios gave regular updates regarding the PSN rollout.

“We are talking solutions with PlayStation, especially for non-PSN countries. Your voice has been heard, and I am doing everything I can to speak for the community – but I don’t have the final say,” said Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestdt. 

With the dark cloud of PSN linking gone, several players celebrated the community win. Many fans shared memes espousing “Democracy Wins!” referencing the game’s satirical take on the government. At the moment, it’s unknown if Helldivers 2 will be available once more for the delisted countries.

That said, with PSN linking gone, Helldivers 2 will likely return to listings worldwide. 

This requirement may ultimately return to Helldivers 2 at some point, however. Mandatory sign-ups for third-party services is a norm for many games. That’s not slowing down, even with Sony backpedaling.

The sticking point with this was that the PSN is available in far fewer countries than Steam is. It’s possible that Sony will expand the availability of PSN sign-ups and then re-implement this requirement. If not with Helldivers 2, then with other upcoming PC releases like Ghost of Tsushima.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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