Helldivers 2 Prioritizes $40 Base Game Over Live-Service, Says Developer

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Complete Release Was First Priority For Arrowhead!

Story Highlight
  • Helldivers 2 has already become the biggest PlayStation PC release ever.
  • While the game is known to be a live service title, the Arrowhead CEO believes this element is secondary to the primary experience.
  • This studio firmly believes that the base game needs to offer a compelling experience to begin with.

The live-service genre has proven to be a slippery slope in the past. Developers, often laser-focused on sustaining this model, forget to provide a high-quality offering from day one despite prices as high as $70.

However, to Arrowhead’s credit, Helldivers 2 does not fall into this trap. According to the studio, live service is a secondary element of its game.

Why it matters: Helldivers 2 has been a massive success, selling over 3 million copies in less than a month and becoming Sony’s biggest release ever on Steam.

Helldivers 2
Helldivers 2 Screenshot via Arrowhead Game Studios.

In a recent interview with PC Gamer, the CEO of Arrowhead, Johan Pilestedt, acknowledged but didn’t fully embrace the live service label on the game.

We view ourselves as a live service game because it’s unfair to say anything else.

-Johan Pilestedt

He stated that the studio would continue to work on the game and release more content. Additional monetization elements will also be added over time, making Helldivers 2 a live-service title by every definition.

However, the CEO’s initial statement emphasizes the belief that live service should not become the core focus of any game. Instead, each release should offer a compelling experience worth several hours on its own.

The base game should give you a full experience, a really good several hours of playtime.

-Johan Pilestedt

Johan Pilestedt also addressed the fact that the monetization elements should be entirely optional. He holds the opinion that such elements should not become prominent before the base experience is over since they can potentially overshadow the base content.

This philosophy leads to a satisfactory base game for Helldivers 2 fans. It has also motivated many fans to buy microtransactions as additional support for the developers. Meanwhile, Xbox fans have requested a port of the co-op shooter.

Helldivers 2 Arrowhead Game Studios
Helldivers 2 Image via Arrowhead Game Studios

Arrowhead intends to continue working on Helldivers 2. The CEO states that this game will receive more free content over the next years, enabling the studio to evolve it through the live-service genre.

Johan Pilestedt stated this had been the approach for all Arrowhead-developed games. He intends to work with the same mentality moving forward.

Helldivers 2 currently offers $10 premium monetization, named “Warbounds,” allowing players to obtain new weapons and outfits. They serve as Arrowhead’s take on the Battle Pass, though “Warbounds” never expire.

Players are also unable to skip tiers through real money. Overall, the developer aims for a balanced monetization approach, never putting this element before the base game experience.

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