Helldivers 2 dev says games ‘need to earn the right to monetise’
12.02.2024 - 12:29
/ Andy Robinson
/ Johan Pilestedt
The CEO of Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead has discussed the design of the game’s in-game transactions, and how he believes titles with such micropayments need to “earn the right to monetise”.
The PlayStation Studios PvE shooter launched on PlayStation 5 and PC last week, and has already amassed over 140,000 players, making it by far PlayStation Studios’ most successful launch on Steam.
One area of Helldivers 2 that’s garnered a lot of discussion among players is how it handles microtransactions. Helldivers 2 is a premium $40 game, but it also includes a rotating cosmetics store, with each set of armour costing between $2 and $5.
The game also includes small battle passes called Warbonds, which include a mix of cosmetics and weapons.
Crucially, players can also earn virtual currency via gameplay, without spending real money, and Warbond items still need to be unlocked via gameplay even if you do decide to purchase the battle pass.
Responding to a fan on X who praised Helldivers’ approach to monetisation, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt wrote: “’You have to earn the right to monetize’ – I truly believe that. If people want to support this title they have an option, but we are never forcing anyone to do so.”
In another post, he discussed how the development team balanced in-game purchases to try and avoid ‘pay to win’, in response to a fan who noted that the game’s battle pass content can be purchased via currency collected during gameplay.
“I’m partial but we really applied ourselves to not make it p2w even though items are functionally different,” he wrote. “The only item that’s p2w is the revolver – which will win you any ‘cool gun’ competition. Only (minor) problem is that it’s not that good.”
Pilestedt also addressed the game’s launch server issues, which have occasionally left players unable to enter matches during launch weekend.