Helldivers 2 achieves a new record for PlayStation Studios games on Windows PC

Helldivers 2 acid bugs
(Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

What you need to know

  • Helldivers 2 is a co-op game developed by Arrowhead Game Studios and published by PlayStation Studios. 
  • Over its first weekend since launch, Helldivers 2 reached over 150,000 concurrent players on Steam, something no prior PlayStation Studios game has managed to do. 
  • Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt also shared that the game has sold around a million copies so far. 

Democracy is spreading faster than ever.

Arrowhead Game Studios and PlayStation Studios' Helldivers 2 managed to reach over 150,000 concurrent players on Steam the first weekend after its launch (per SteamDB), marking a new record for PlayStation games on Windows PC. This number is over twice the previous high of concurrent users for a single PlayStation Studios game on PC, with Santa Monica Studio's God of War achieving over 73,000 players just over two years ago. 

Helldivers 2 is also off to a solid start in overall sales, with Arrowhead Game Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt taking to Twitter to confirm that it's sold around a million copies so far across PlayStation 5 and Windows PC. 

Helldivers 2 is a fair bit different than prior PlayStation Studios games

Squad up to spread democracy. By force.  (Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Of course, any comparisons with prior PlayStation games that have hit PC warrant some asterisk marks. Helldivers 2 is one of the first live service games from PlayStation to hit console and PC at once — technically, Illfonic's Predator: Hunting Grounds was the first, but poor reception combined with being restricted to the Epic Games Store at launch means it's easily forgotten — which means PC players aren't being limited to a port a year or six after the console version first launched. 

Additionally, Helldivers 2 is a co-op game. Most missions are extremely difficult without at least one friend, even on the lower difficulties, and it's when you have a squad of three or four working together that all of the game mechanics really shine. Naturally, that co-op push is going to help the game see higher concurrent players than a single-player title like Horizon Zero Dawn or Days Gone that players can go through alone at whatever pace they prefer. 

Outside of Helldivers 2, PC players can look forward to further PlayStation games later this year, with Horizon Forbidden West launching in March and a remake of Until Dawn slated to arrive before 2024 ends. 

Helldivers 2Buy from: GreenManGaming (Steam)

Helldivers 2

Team up with friends to fight aliens across PC and PS5. Hordes are attacking, and humanity needs defenders. This third-person shooter appears to evolve the formula of the original arcade-like experience, and cross-play ensures players can stay together.

Buy from: GreenManGaming (Steam)

Analysis: A live service model to follow?

PlayStation has been planning a big live service push for years, with some bumps along the way like the delay of multiple titles and the outright cancellation of The Last of Us Online from Naughty Dog. So now that one of these games has finally launched, it's really nice to see it finding early success. 

Helldivers 2 was a long time coming, with almost eight years of development, and being a hit is never guaranteed, so if the team at Arrowhead can build on what's here, they may be laying out a model for the rest of PlayStation to follow. Certainly, I expect every single live service game to launch on PC at the same time as on console, and I really wouldn't be surprised if some teams are considering experimenting with a single-player game hitting on both platforms at once. 

I'm currently working on our review of Helldivers 2, spending hours taking on the Terminids and Automatons, so you can look for that in the not-too-distant future. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.