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Why Helldivers 2's Developer Says Not To Buy It Yet

"Helldivers 2" has become a massive surprise hit in its first week of release. Released nearly a full decade after the first game, "Helldivers 2" is garnering glowing reviews from critics and selling like hotcakes on PlayStation 5 and PC. The third-person shooter is also obliterating player records held by some of the biggest games of all time, surpassing the concurrent player counts of beloved titles like "GTA 5" and "Destiny 2." It's even giving 2024's other early surprise hit, "Palworld," a run for its money on Steam. So why did the CEO of "Helldivers 2" developer Arrowhead Studios suggest that players might want to wait before picking up the game? Maybe not for the reasons you might expect.

Unfortunately, the extreme level of immediate popularity currently enjoyed by "Helldivers" has a way of backfiring on smaller studios that suddenly find their games burning up the charts. "Palworld" developer Pocketpair is spending nearly 500 thousand dollars this month to keep its servers running at tip-top shape. In much the same way, Arrowhead Studios is looking into several options to strengthen its servers and keep players happy. 

In the meantime, however, Arrowhead Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt offered what might be seen as unorthodox advice to one concerned player on social media: Maybe hold off on buying the game just yet. Despite how this might sound on its face, however, Pilestedt (who also serves as the creative director of the game) had a very heartfelt reason for making this suggestion.

Helldivers 2 CEO: 'it's worth waiting'

Over the weekend, Arrowhead Studios took to the official "Helldivers 2" Discord to update fans on the difficulties experienced by the game's overworked servers. The team acknowledged that there were just too many people playing "Helldivers" at once, which caused unexpected stress on the game and its servers. As a result, Arrowhead said, "This lead to some mission payouts failing, some players being kicked to their ships, or being logged out." Another issue has also arisen with players logging into the game and then stepping away from their computer or console, essentially leaving it running all night and day so they don't have to wait in a queue. This has only caused further server issues, which Arrowhead Studios intends to address. So what should players do in the meantime?

Well, over on X (formerly Twitter), Arrowhead Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt responded to a fan who was bummed out by the fact that they don't have the funds to pick up "Helldivers 2" while it's taking off: "If you have no cash, get it later," wrote Pilestedt. "While we made a really fun game it's worth waiting until the servers can support the capacity. I mean, as a CEO I of course want the game to be as profitable as possible, but if you spent yr last $ and got stuck in server queues I'd be [heartbroken]."

In other words, Pilestedt doesn't want people to spend money they don't have just yet on a game that's still getting the kinks ironed out. After all, getting a sale now isn't quite as important as keeping a longterm loyal and satisfied customer. Luckily, it sounds like Arrowhead Studios is well on its way to getting the game's issues resolved.

How Helldivers 2 is handling the server issues

For the gamers who still plan on picking up "Helldivers 2" right away and forging ahead with their mission to protect the citizens of Super Earth, Arrowhead Studios has announced short-term plans for server maintenance. "Our team is working around the clock to solve these issues," Arrowhead Studios explained on Discord. "While we've been able to mitigate some of the causes, we are still struggling to keep up with the scaling that is needed to accommodate all our Helldivers. Therefore, we've had to cap our concurrent players to around 450,000 to further improve server stability. We will continue to work with our partners to get the ceiling raised."

In a now-deleted thread (via PCGamesN), Johan Pilestedt told a frustrated fan that Arrowhead can't simply solve these problems by buying more servers. Instead, the group's plan is to "optimize the backend code" because the game is "hitting some real limits." These fixes are just going to take some time and effort, but they're definitely coming. In another amusing response, Pilestedt told another angry commenter that he's happy to trust his team to get the job done, rather than loom over the devs all day while they try to work. 

Basically, let Arrowhead Studios cook. The "Helldivers 2" team is already looking to expand in the wake of the game's massive early success, so hopefully fans won't have to deal with these server limitations for too long.