Helldivers 2 removed from Steam in 177 countries due to new PSN requirement

Helldivers 2 recently announced a new PlayStation Network linking requirement which rendered the game unplayable in dozens of countries.
helldivers 2 psn network review bombing

Helldivers 2 is currently being review-bombed on Steam, thanks to a new Sony-directed PlayStation Network linking requirement which has rendered the game unplayable in 177 countries. Per Arrowhead Game Studios, the title was always intended to be tied to the PlayStation Network, but early infrastructure troubles meant it launched without this tie.

Now, months on from a majorly successful launch, Sony has seemingly forced Arrowhead’s hand, re-implementing the PSN linking requirements for Steam purchases.

“Due to technical issues at the launch of Helldivers 2, we allowed the linking requirements for Steam accounts to a PlayStation Network account to be temporarily optional. That grace period will now expire,” Sony announced on Steam. “As of May 6th, all new Helldivers 2 players on Steam will be required to connect their Steam account to a PlayStation Network account.”

What goes unmentioned in Sony’s announcement is that the PlayStation Network is not available in 177 countries worldwide, and everyone who purchased the game in those countries is now essentially locked out. Steam is working to provide refunds for those players, but regardless, the decision has caused major outrage.

Read: Helldivers 2 Review – Glory to Super Earth

Over on Twitter, the Helldivers 2 team is facing a wave of criticism – with many players questioning why the game was ever sold in territories where the PlayStation Network wasn’t active, and particularly given the Arrowhead team knew about the incoming linking requirements prior to their implementation.

“I am not blameless in all of this – it was my decision to disable account linking at launch so that players could play the game,” Johan Pilestedt, Arrowhead CEO said on Twitter/X. “I did not ensure players were aware of the requirement and we didn’t talk about it enough. We knew for about 6 months before launch that it would be mandatory for online PS titles.”

Pilestedt has also clarified that Arrowhead is not responsible for selling the game.

Since the introduction of the PSN requirement, Helldivers 2‘s Steam score has taken a significant nosedive. While previously very well regarded, its reviews are now Mixed, and the vast majority of recent reviews (248,357 as of writing) are Overwhelmingly Negative. The common theme in these new reviews is outrage over PSN linking, and disappointment with Sony’s decision to pull the game after releasing it in multiple non-PSN territories.

For its part, Arrowhead has promised to talk solutions with Sony in future, with the hope being that service for the game will be restored, and Arrowhead will eventually earn back the goodwill Helldivers 2 has unceremoniously lost.

“We are talking solutions with PlayStation, especially for non-PSN countries,” Pilestedt said. “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.”

Given the loud, ongoing backlash, there is a chance Sony may reverse its stance, but until then, it’s likely the Helldivers 2 team will face an unfortunate battle that appears largely out of their hands. Stay tuned for the latest updates on this unfolding situation.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.