Helldivers 2: New CEO and healthy foundations for Arrowhead – News

After the media storm of the mandatory PSN account and the prodigious review bombing on PC that resulted from it, it is vital for Arrowhead to quickly find its cruising speed. Especially since mid-April, the Swedish studio has had to deal with recurring complaints from players regarding the balancing of Helldiverse 2, often relegated to the background in favor of new content. The first months of romance seem almost over and the usual worries inherent in any service game are now being felt. Aside from the most fervent defenders of democracy, many players return to the game more sporadically, finding themselves fatally overwhelmed by an arsenal that continues to grow, to the point of reaching by the end of the year a size that could almost be described as unreasonable.

Paradigm shift

The unexpected success of Helldiverse 2 and its 12 million games sold in three months (i.e. 8 more than the total of Helldivers first of the name) makes it the game having sold the fastest for Sony in this period of time, ahead of Spiderman, God of War Or Uncharted. A craze that Johan Pilestedt, CEO of Arrowhead, had to face quickly while maintaining two principles close to his heart: direct communication with the community and not recruiting en masse to keep a studio on a human scale. Values ​​that could not be more laudable, but which inevitably have an impact on a game with so much exposure, an extremely active community and an economic model requiring the continuous injection of new content.

The gentleman is also well aware that weapon balancing and bug resolutions are slowly becoming important issues for the appeal of Helldiverse 2leading him to appoint his long-time collaborator Shams Jorjani as new CEO, taking care to add on Twitter that “I’m more interested in weapon balancing than quarterly financial reports. » Having worked with Paradox for the publication of Magicka and The Showdown Effect, Arrowhead’s first two games, the two men know each other well, and the newcomer will be in charge of managing the studio to allow Pilestedt to concentrate on the creative aspect.

Jorjani already arrives with several objectives in his management of the studio, including remaining independent, not going public, keeping a team on a human scale and having “the potential to realize a future where we become the next From Software or Blizzard”, in the words of Pilestedt to Games Industry. Just that. A wish that may seem strange, knowing that neither are independent, but we can only wish the best to the studio.

Democratic balance

Let’s return to the initial subject, with this message posted by the studio’s community manager 24 hours before the announcement of this nomination, which said: “ We want to take more time for this update and potentially between future patches, since we feel that the pace has probably been too high to allow us to maintain the quality standards that we want and that you deserve. » Arrowhead therefore seeks to favor more widely spaced patches, requiring less hot fixes untimely, with weapon balancing at the heart of it all again. With a new battle pass per month including three weapons each time, maintaining a balance will become an increasingly complex exercise for the studio.

However, it is difficult for Arrowhead to return to the rhythm of one War Obligation per month, vital to keeping players captivated and creating a “fear of missing out” on the new features added regularly. Despite the rich idea of ​​leaving these Bonds available without time limit, it is difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the mass of content after a break of a few weeks. In short, the usual tricks of a service game in short, especially since to make these new weapons attractive, the studio has every interest in giving them a little boost. After all, why invest your super credits in it when the weapons you already use are more powerful?

The studio therefore finds itself with a double challenge, that of maintaining its economic model, of feeding its regular players without losing occasional players, potentially discouraged by excessive upheavals and additions between each session. But it is also about preserving the identity of Helldiverse 2, the one that makes players experiment with their equipment, find good combinations and synergies, which ultimately become obsolete with the next update. The Diablo 4 experience in its first months showed us that this was the best way to frustrate (or even disgust) its players and Arrowhead is well aware of the danger that too regular balancing can represent.



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