PlayStation

Helldivers 2 players on Steam now need a PlayStation account to play


A squad of Helldivers in Helldivers 2 fight off an army of bugs on a desert planet
Image: Arrowhead Game Studios/Sony Interactive Entertainment

And some Steam players are pissed off

Helldivers 2 players who’ve been playing the game on Windows PC via Steam since launch will now need a PlayStation Network account to access the game. Helldivers 2 publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment posted a notice to the game’s Steam page on Thursday informing Steam players of the change.

“Due to technical issues at the launch of Helldivers 2, we allowed the linking requirements for Steam accounts to a PlayStation Network account to be temporarily optional,” the publisher wrote. “That grace period will now expire. See details below in this post.”

Sony claims account-linking with PlayStation Network is “critical” to the “safety and security” of Helldivers 2. “This is our main way to protect players from griefing and abuse by enabling the banning of players that engage in that type of behaviour,” it said. “It also allows those players that have been banned the right to appeal.”

Starting on May 6, all new Helldivers 2 players will be required to connect their Steam and PlayStation Network accounts before playing the game. Current Helldivers 2 players will begin to see the mandatory PlayStation Network log-in on May 30, and will need to have their accounts linked by June 4. You can sign up for a PlayStation Network account on the PlayStation website if you don’t have one already.

From these dates on, Helldivers 2 players will be prompted to link their accounts when the game is launched. You’ll see a QR code and a link to the sign-in page for PlayStation Network, according to an FAQ page on Arrowhead’s website. By signing in there, you’ll have your accounts linked. If you haven’t created a PlayStation Network account before you follow the QR code or link, you’ll then follow the instructions to make one — and the account will be automatically linked, Sony said.

There’s no way to link your accounts outside of this, so you won’t be able to do so as a current player until you start seeing the prompt pop up in-game.

Some Helldivers 2 players using Steam are furious — particularly that this wasn’t a requirement from the beginning, and that players are suddenly forced to link up. One of the bigger problems is that some people won’t be able to create PlayStation Network accounts if they don’t live in a region supported by Sony; South Africa is the only African country that’s got PlayStation Network, for instance. Belarus and Lithuania aren’t on the list. Based on Steam’s download statistics, there’s not a ton of Steam traffic from these areas over the past seven days, but it’s still there. Sure, you could pick a different country, but that could require a VPN or risk a ban. There will likely be a number of players who purchased the game on Steam who will soon be unable to play.

The Helldivers 2 page does have a notice alerting players of the third-party account linking, however. It was just unenforced until now.

Other players are simply unwilling to give their information to Sony. Since Arrowhead posted the update, Helldivers 2 has received an influx of negative reviews on Steam — at the time of writing, hours after the post went live, Helldivers 2 has more than 6,000 new negative reviews, a dramatic increase from the 2,500 seen on April 25.

We’ve reached out to Sony Interactive Entertainment and Arrowhead for more information, and we’ll update this post when they respond.

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