Helldivers 2, the newly-released squad-based alien shooter from Arrowhead Game Studios, has already gathered a vast player base in the days since launch, reportedly selling one million copies worldwide so far. Part of the appeal, as players have shared on social media, is that while Helldivers 2 does have microtransactions, it remains a fun, enjoyable, and mechanically satisfying romp without the need to fork out extra cash.
For Johan Pilestedt, creative director of Helldivers 2 and CEO of Arrowhead Game Studios, this was an essential part of creating the game – ensuring that players had a fair chance, without indulging in microtransactions.
In response to a player praising the game’s “trend of very fair and not predatory microtransactions” Pilestedt doubled down on his stance, revealing a strong belief that microtransactions need to be earned by developers.
“‘You have to earn the right to monetise’ – I truly believe that,” Pilestedt said. “If people want to support this title they have an option, but we are never forcing anyone to do so.”
Pilestedt makes an important, yet often ignored point – that loyalty towards games must be earned, and players who invest in games should be rewarded for their support, rather than treated as a given. With a smorgasbord of live service games hitting the market every month, players have more choice than ever.
As Pilestedt states, players should feel like microtransactions are worthwhile, and that developers are genuinely serving them with good, rewarding content. Without that thought, players will simply take their support elsewhere.
Going forward, the stance will likely serve the growth of Helldivers 2 well. While the game does have its own microtransaction system, Arrowhead’s more open stance lends hope that these will remain peripheral and non-essential to enjoying the game in the long-term.