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Why Helldivers 2 Devs Are Apologizing To Fans

Arrowhead Games Studios has found landed in a bit of hot water after the latest update to "Helldivers 2." It's been obvious since the game first exploded onto the scene that no one at Arrowhead expected quite this level of success, which means the devs were equally unprepared for the overwhelming amount of backlash some of its decisions might cause. When fans started aggressively complaining about the latest patch, it seems some Arrowhead team members took the comments a little too personally and got mired in comments section debates.

Now, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt has spoken up about the situation and apologized for some of the comments that came from an Arrowhead employee. "Since I am a heavy subscriber of a communicative studio it means that I encourage developers to engage with the community," Pilestedt wrote in a comment on Reddit, adding, "However this also exposes us to risks of miscommunication or heated arguments and it's something that we actively discuss internally at the studio to improve on."

"Helldivers 2" has survived launch weekend issues and pushed past leaks from hackers, so it will likely survive this mini PR crisis. Although the studio needs to address the very real complaints that fans have about the latest patch, this incident gave some fans a reminder that devs are people just like us. 

Balancing expectations in Helldivers 2

As far as updates go, patch 01.000.100 made some fairly minor changes to "Helldivers 2." What got fans riled up was that the patch rebalanced some of the most popular armaments in the game. Specifically, Arrowhead tuned down the effectiveness of portable shields and two weapons: the railgun and the Breaker. Fans were not happy about those changes, and they let their opinions be known. As a result, some members of the "Helldivers 2" team got caught up in the flurry of comments and let their emotions get the best of them. "I'm feeding the rage a little for my own entertainment," wrote senior animator Fredrik Eriksson in a response on Reddit. "We made two of the most brainless playstyles less viable, and brought the guns that are under/overperforming more into line with the rest."

Naturally, fans did not take kindly to that response. Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt addressed Eriksson's comment directly in another Reddit thread, writing, "Yeah, this is a horrible statement and not representing or following the studio guidelines in how to communicate. It is emotionally driven and the critiques of the balance patch were taken as a personal attack. I am extremely disappointed with the behavior."

Reddit isn't the only place where arguments between players and devs were breaking out. Over on the official "Helldivers 2" Discord channel, Arrowhead team member Evil-Bosse apologized and left the server after telling players, "git gud, play easiest if you want to win, send in a ticket and complain and HR might have a meeting with me."

Turning the ship around

Clearly the devs over at Arrowhead Games Studio are having an exhausting time dealing with the popularity of "Helldivers 2" and the ire of gamers who've just had their favorite builds nerfed. Now that John Pilestedt and other members of the "Helldivers 2" team have apologized for getting heated with players, players hopefully going to see more measured communication from the studio going forward.

For what it's worth, some fans have come to the defense of the developers, rightfully pointing out that constant rage and pile-ons from angry fans are bound to wear down people who are just trying to make a fun game. At the end of the day, fans and developers want the same thing, and everyone clearly agrees that "Helldivers 2" is worth getting invested in.

On that note, the team at Arrowhead is already considering how to adjust the game after this latest patch. Those who are playing the game are excited to see what the future holds, just counting down the days until Game Master Joel gives players their mechs.

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