Why Helldivers 2 is being delisted on Steam

Helldivers 2 screenshot. Courtesy Arrowhead Game Studios.
Helldivers 2 screenshot. Courtesy Arrowhead Game Studios. /

Helldivers 2 has been one of the year's most successful games, receiving critical and commerical success upon release back in February. But the Cinderella story is quickly turning into a nightmare for developer Arrowhead Studios as Sony is pushing mandatory sign-ups for PlayStation Network in order to play on Steam.

Earlier this week, Sony announced that it will soon require all PC players to link their Steam accounts to a PlayStation Network account in order to continue playing Helldivers 2.

On the surface, this doesn't seem like a huge deal. After all, just about every major publisher with a gaming network requires you to link your accounts or sign-up with their service to enjoy their games.

The problem, however, is that PlayStation Network is not available in every country globally.

As a result, Helldivers 2 has been delisted from Steam in over 100 countries. If you live in one of the 177 territories where PSN is not available, you can no longer purchase the game. Some of the territories where Helldivers 2 was delisted from include Bermuda, Bahamas, Domincan Republic, Egypt, Greenland, Jamaica, Madagascar, Philippines and more.

Now I'm not going to pretend to know the global popularity of Helldivers 2 or how many people who were playing this game on Steam have actually been affected by this, but it's still negative press, which I'm sure Arrowhead and Sony want to avoid. Sony's decision to require linking your Steam account to PSN has been met with huge backlash. Players have resorted to review bombing the game which now has a "mixed' reception for all of its reviews and an "overwhelmingly negative" recent review standing.

Making matters worse is the fact that Helldivers 2 has already proven it can be enjoyed without this account linking. Although it was always in the plan to have Steam players link their account to PSN, technical issues at launch resulted in this requirement being temporarily optional. Without the requirement, Helldivers 2 could be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere in the world.

Alas, that is no longer the case and people are rightfully pissed. Steam is reportedly now allowed refunds on Helldivers 2, even if you've played more htan two hours.

Arrowhead CEO Johaan Pilstedt acknowledged fan frustration and urged players to reach out to Sony Support directly. It sounds like even Arrowhead isn't on board with this decision, but their hands may be tied.