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Sony Backpeddles On Controversial Helldivers 2 PSN Account Linking Requirement Following Community Backlash

"We're still learning"

Sony Interactive Entertainment has withdrawn a contentious policy that would have mandated Helldivers 2 players on Steam to link their PlayStation Network accounts following a massive pushback from the gaming community. Over the weekend, the policy provoked an overwhelming number of negative reviews on the game’s Steam page, culminating in nearly 230,000 disparaging comments out of close to 280,000 total reviews.

The policy, originally set to take effect with a May 6 update, required all new players and existing players by May 30 to link their PlayStation Network and Steam accounts. Failure to comply would have barred access to Helldivers 2. The initial intent of the policy, albeit noted on the game’s page, had never been actively enforced, leading to widespread surprise and discontent among players... Especially those living in regions that would bar them from playing anymore because PSN was not available in their country.

Responding to the backlash, a statement released on Monday from the PlayStation X account announced the reversal of the decision:

Helldivers fans -- we’ve heard your feedback on the Helldivers 2 account linking update. The May 6 update, which would have required Steam and PlayStation Network account linking for new players and for current players beginning May 30, will not be moving forward. We’re still learning what is best for PC players and your feedback has been invaluable. Thanks again for your continued support of Helldivers 2 and we’ll keep you updated on future plans.

Johan Pilestedt, Helldivers 2 game director and CEO of Arrowhead Game Studios, expressed his admiration for the community's response. Over the weekend, Pilestedt provided updates on social media platform X, sharing ongoing discussions with Sony, indicating that the decision was out of his direct control until the reversal.

The community’s reaction was fueled by concerns over privacy, with recent data breaches involving Sony adding to the reluctance. Additionally, the policy would have excluded players in over 150 countries where creating a PlayStation Network account is not possible, effectively locking them out of the game. This prompted Valve, owner of Steam, to start issuing refunds to some affected players.

With the policy now scrapped, Helldivers 2 players are returning to their gaming sessions, likely with a sense of relief and vindication. The episode has not only sparked discussions across platforms like Discord and Reddit but also highlighted the impact of community feedback on gaming companies' policies.

While the game’s reputation might recover (hopefully sooner than later), the incident has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on Sony and Arrowhead’s handling of community relations.

Whether or not it gets reinstituted down the line... remains to be seen.

and while this is great to see the community come together for the win, it does bring more question to how Sony operates, and makes decisions in regards to censorship poloicies.

Stellar Blade is still alive and well and no moves have been made as of yet, despite the #FreeStellarBlade petition garnering over 80,000 votes thus far.


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