list Sony Backs Down, No More Mandatory PSN Linking for Helldivers 2

Sony Backs Down, No More Mandatory PSN Linking for Helldivers 2

By | May 7th, 2024 | Categories: Others

Sony faced massive backlash from the gaming community after they announced that they would require players to link their Steam to PlayStation Network accounts to continue playing Helldivers 2. Those who can’t will be suspended or restricted from playing the game. After the announcement, players reviewed HD2’s Steam Page and refunded the game en masse. Due to the overwhelming hostile reception of their recent move, Sony relented and announced that they would no longer continue with their update.

Sony Won’t Move Forward with Mandatory Account Linking

It’s only been a few days since Sony’s announcement that Helldivers 2 is required to link their Steam to a PlayStation Network account before a significant update and the company faced massive flak over this decision. The account linking was optional when HD2 was launched, but Sony has retroactively changed it into a mandatory setting. Gamers did not take this change lightly since it violated Steam policy and allowed a data collection process with which they disagreed.

Players have taken collective action to review-bomb Helldivers 2’s Steam Review page and mass refund the game. Initially, Steam wouldn’t allow you to return a game once two weeks had passed since the initial purchase. You shouldn’t be able to refund a game if you exceed a certain amount of gameplay time. However, Steam has been more lenient with HD2 refunds since the sudden change to mandatory PSN linking violates Steam Policy. Players could get their money back even with hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Following the backlash, Sony rolled back their decision to enact the mandatory Steam to PSN account linking. In an X post by PlayStation, developers have announced that their plans for the 30th of May will not be moving forward after they review players’ feedback on their decision. In the tweet, they reiterated how they are still learning what would be best for PC players and thanked players for their continuous support for the game.

Sony Almost Doubled Down After Delisting Helldivers 2 on Steam

Players were surprised that Sony canceled their plans, especially after their recent move to delist Helldivers 2 on certain Steam regions. It should be noted that the company decided to remove the game from areas without access to the PlayStation Network. This decision aligned with the mandatory account linking, further fueling the outrage.

While Sony has reverted its announcement, Helldivers 2 is still unavailable in the Steam store for specific regions. However, if you bought the game before the delisting, you can still access it since it’s already in your library. It’s unclear when the publishers will put the game back up for sale on the platform.

Why Did Sony Want Account Linking

Sony’s main reason for initially wanting the required account link was to better moderate and police the game. Devs can quickly generate and issue more bans and control or restrict access for problematic players. However, many believed that the move leaned more toward being able to farm data from the existing player base.

Linking your Steam to a PSN account gives Sony access to information that wasn’t available to them initially. They can use this data for various things like tailoring their marketing or boosting their numbers for investors. Essentially, Sony was willing to risk data privacy to gain more profit. While many companies practice this, the fact that the account linking was made mandatory when the game was released a few months ago sparked the outrage.

Linking your Steam to PSN was optional and you weren’t required to do it to play the game. However, making it mandatory months later means that Sony was forcing a change in policy that its player base never agreed on. If the publisher had created the account linking a requirement from the beginning, players could have opted not to buy the game in the first place, and this whole issue could have been avoided.

Massive Backlash for Helldivers 2

Gamers didn’t take long to rally up and collectively review-bomb Helldivers 2. The game quickly dived down to “Mostly Negative” within days of the announcement. On top of this, many people also sent refund requests with reasons varying from not agreeing with the policy change or that PSN is not available in their region. 

After the announcement, Arrowhead was the first to suggest to players that if they didn’t like the new policy, they should ask for a refund, which implied AGS disagreed with Sony’s plans. Many speculated that the publisher backed down on their decision once the mass refunds started to roll in. Sony is known to be notoriously hard to get a refund on, so seeing their profits go down due to Steam being more lenient after the policy change might have affected their decision.

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