The Studio Behind 2024’s Biggest Hit Doesn’t Plan On Selling Out Anytime Soon

The Studio Behind 2024’s Biggest Hit Doesn’t Plan On Selling Out Anytime Soon

When 2024 started, Helldivers 2 was barely a blip on most people’s game release radars. It quickly became the biggest hit of the year so far, turning into both a sales juggernaut and a cultural phenomenon. And in an era of hyper consolidation, it made Arrowhead Studios an obvious target for acquisition by the game’s publisher, Sony. Months later, co-founder Johan Pilestedt maintains the Sweden-based team of over 100 has no plans of becoming another cog in the first-party PlayStation machine.

“We pride ourselves on being an independent studio,” he told in a new interview today. “We have to see what the future holds, but there’s nothing in the plans where we want to be acquired by somebody. I want to see how high we can fly.” Pilestedt also announced today that the studio has hired former Paradox Interactive executive Shams Jorjani to be its new CEO while he moves into a chief creative officer role to focus more on keeping Helldivers 2 a top-10 live service hit.

The two say Arrowhead now has ambitions of being a flagship studio that can rival the best in the world, especially when it comes to the hyper-competitive landscape of online co-op games. “When we were growing up, we really wanted to work at Blizzard, it was one of the bucket list places to work at,” Jorjani said. “I think Arrowhead has the potential to be that.”

But Helldivers 2‘s overnight success has also made it a lightning rod for controversy and assholes. When the game launched, the servers were so overloaded that Pilestedt told people to stop buying the game, an unusual move for any CEO, but he said this only “fanned the flames,” increasing the game’s player count even more. More recently, the PSN login fiasco led to a Steam review-bombing campaign that also made some Arrowhead employees a target for the game’s more toxic players.

“The big difference now, which is horrifying, is the amount of threats and rude behavior that people in the studio are getting from some really shitty individuals within the community,” Pilestedt told He continued:

When you hit this big, much bigger than anyone thought – Sony, us, everyone – what happens is the game finds an audience outside of that niche fan group. So you get this amplification of different voices. Almost all games have a bit of toxicity in the community, but with these big numbers you just get so many, so we need to work with the community to get them to self-moderate, give people the tools to speak with each other in a positive fashion, so we can keep talking to the players openly. The more voices being added to the choir does add complexity.

While the Arrowhead executives said the team’s plans are only growing more grandiose, it doesn’t plan to scale up to the size of a full-blown AAA studio anytime soon. It’s also going to slow down the pace of Helldivers 2‘s updates so it can maintain quality amid the chaos. “We want to take some more time for this one and potentially between future patches since we feel cadence has probably been a bit too high to be able to maintain the quality standard we want and you deserve,” community manager Twinbeard recently wrote on the game’s Discord.

It sounds like at least for now, however, players will still be getting new Warbond battle passes on a near monthly basis. Hopefully, fewer patches means less nerfs to the new weapons players fall in love with.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *