Helldivers 2 PS5 PlayStation

Helldivers 2 players are supposed to work together for Super Earth's glory, but as is often the case when dealing with such a massive audience, some fringe elements of the community are going overboard. Former Arrowhead CEO and now Chief Creative Officer Johan Pilestedt says that the studio has seen a "horrifying" amount of toxicity, including "threats and rude behaviour".

Pilestet spoke to GamesIndustry.biz (thanks, IGN), describing the overall experience as "extremely enjoyable and a little bit daunting". But with some 12 million players to contend with, the level of abuse the studio has faced has been on another level entirely: "The big difference now, which is horrifying, is the amount of threats and rude behaviour that people in the studio are getting from some really sh*tty individuals within the community. That's something new we have to deal with."

Arrowhead has undoubtedly made some mistakes along the way, with the community fairly regularly up in arms over some slight or another, real or imagined. The balancing of the game has remained a constant concern for some, and then there was the Sony/PSN debacle on Steam, which Pilestedt attempted to push back on and share some of the blame. Arrowhead's new CEO (involved with Helldivers since the start), Shams Jorjani, had this to say on the matter:

"When you hit this big, much bigger than anyone thought – Sony, us, everyone – what happens is the game finds an audience outside of that niche fan group. So you get this amplification of different voices. Almost all games have a bit of toxicity in the community, but with these big numbers, you just get so many, so we need to work with the community to get them to self-moderate, give people the tools to speak with each other in a positive fashion, so we can keep talking to the players openly. The more voices being added to the choir does add complexity."

What is the best way to deal with needlessly aggressive or toxic elements of a gaming community? Is this just the reality of mainstream gaming, or do other developers maintain a relatively sane player base? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source gamesindustry.biz, via ign.com]