Helldivers 2 Team Believes Devs Should Establish Trust Before Monetizing Games

"You Need To Earn The Right To Monetize"

Story Highlight
  • Helldivers 2 features microtransactions, but they are not pay-to-win.
  • The game’s director believes developers should earn the player’s trust before monetizing their games.
  • In Helldivers 2, players can earn premium currency through gameplay, eliminating the pressure to spend real money.

Helldivers 2 has seen unprecedented success on PC and PlayStation 5. Having sold 1 million units within 3 days of its launch, the game has now been crowned Sony’s most successful launch on PC.

This co-op shooter has microtransactions, but Johan Pilestedt, the director of Arrowhead Game Studios, believes they steered clear of the pay-to-win approach. He thinks developers should earn the opportunity to make money from their games.

Why it matters: Many modern games feature the unfortunate trend of incorporating microtransactions. Recently, Foamstars introduced microtransactions priced more than the game itself. However, It’s great to see that the developers of Helldivers 2 are making efforts to reduce the number of microtransactions in their game.

Responding to player worries about microtransactions on Twitter, Pilestedt stressed that while some in-game items have slight functional variations, they made sure to steer clear of making it pay-to-win.

Players have an option to support us, but we are never forcing anyone to do so.

-Arrowhead CEO

He humorously conceded that the only genuinely “pay-to-win” item is a revolver but jokingly cautioned that it’s not a game-changer.

Helldivers 2 takes a different approach to microtransactions. Players can earn the premium currency, Super Credits, through the gameplay itself by exploring maps and trading medals.


This eliminates the pressure to spend real money and ensures everyone has access to the same core gameplay experience. While cosmetic options and some other items are available for purchase, they don’t provide any unfair advantage, respecting the integrity of the game’s balance.

Pilestedt’s stance against exploitative monetization stands out in an industry flooded with loot boxes, season passes, and constant microtransactions. His belief that developers must “earn the right” to monetize their games suggests a commitment to delivering quality gameplay, building player trust, and then providing optional ways for players to support the game.

This approach resonates with the “fair-to-play” trend gaining momentum recently. Games like Warframe and Path of Exile prove that successful, enduring titles can thrive without resorting to unfair monetization practices.

These games prioritize engaging gameplay, meaningful updates, and ethical microtransactions, attracting and retaining players through value rather than manipulation.

Helldivers 2 maintains its fair play by selling cosmetic items and non-essential upgrades through microtransactions. This keeps the competition balanced and ensures players can back the game as they choose without feeling forced or falling behind.

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