Helldivers 2 community manager fell on their sword in standing up for democracy and the players over the PSN account fiasco [Updated]

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Windows Central)
Recent updates

Update May 8, 2024: Unfortunately, it looks like "almost fired" turned into actually fired for the community manager in question. Noboby likes that, and as RPS reports, there's already a player petition to bring them back. Spitz represented the community, and ultimately we salute them and hope they're back doing what they love soon.  Original post follows. 

What you need to know

  • The now reversed PSN account requirement fiasco for Helldivers 2 almost cost one of the Arrowhead community team their job. 
  • The community manager revealed that their encouragement for players to voice their disgust (as you might expect) didn't go over well with the publisher. 
  • Fortunately, everything came good, the requirement was reversed, and the community manager still has a job.  

Helldivers 2 has been in the headlines a lot this year, mostly for good reasons. The unexpected hit from Arrowhead and Sony is a genuine game of the year contender, but the recent fiasco over slipping in mandatory PSN logins flipped the narrative entirely

Thankfully, Sony saw sense, but let's face it, without the playing community kicking up such a fuss it's unlikely that would have happened. In all the shenanigans, though, as reported by our pals at PC Gamer, one of the Helldivers 2 community managers nearly lost their job. 

Almost. Not quite. Turns out that telling people to review-bomb and refund a game isn't a popular decision with the publisher. But I'm still here and I'm glad that we all made a difference.

Spitz - Arrowhead community manager

First and foremost, we never want to see good people lose their jobs. It's not surprising, equally, that Sony wouldn't be happy to see such a statement from someone working on one of its games. 

But let's not distract from the fact that Spitz was acting with the very community they represent at heart. That they're still in post is fantastic news, but this is someone who clearly cares deeply about the game and the people who play it. 

Thank goodness, sense prevailed. 

Never underestimate player power

The players spoke and proved a valuable point.  (Image credit: Future via Michael Hoglund)

The overarching lesson here is that the players matter. Had Sony made this mandatory PSN account requirement at the launch of the game, the conversation would have been different. I'm not going to retread all the old ground, it was a stupid, stupid decision to implement something that clearly doesn't seem necessary at this point after the game has been released. 

But it's living proof that without the players, the games are nothing. Sony only backtracked because of the uproar from the community. There aren't many things us folks can do after we already bought a game, but the PC players found a way by getting refunds and bombing the reviews on Steam. And it worked. 

This needs to serve as a valuable lesson to publishers large and small. Unhappy gamers will not play your games, and as a result, the financial success will be hit. Sony can claim it's still figuring out PC gaming, but that feels a little weak to me. Sony has launched a number of its games on PC, now, albeit mostly single-player titles. 

But Predator: Hunting Grounds has cross-platform multiplayer, and it doesn't have a requirement for a PSN account to be linked. It doesn't seem to be necessary to deliver these games, so what exactly is the point beyond just getting more people having accounts and sharing more data? Then there's just the fact that PSN availability is hardly global. 

Players matter. Never forget that. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine