“We consider ourselves a live service game because it is unfair to say anything else”

There are a lot of live service games out there these days, and it’s not a trend we wholeheartedly love. But amid the deluge of formulas, some games succeed. Helldivers 2 is a great example, but in a new interview with PC Gamer, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt seemed almost reluctant to embrace the label.

“We don’t consider ourselves, I mean, we consider ourselves a live service game because it’s unfair to say anything else,” Pilestedt said. “We’re going to continue to add elements to the game, and there are monetization elements in the game.”

But this aspect of the game should “go hand in hand” with the base game, which Pilestedt says “should give you a complete experience, like several good hours of gameplay.” Further monetization should be entirely optional and, more importantly, should only come into play well after the base game experience has ended.

“If you imagine what happens with the game in the second, third and fourth year, then you have to change the model in which the content that we release for free, like new enemies, new missions, “No matter what, we also give players the opportunity to support us in continuing to build the title,” Pilestedt said. “And that’s always been our philosophy and all the games we’ve made so far. And we hope to continue having the same mentality for as long as possible.”

Currently, Helldivers 2’s main monetization lever is a $10 premium “war bond” that offers a few additional weapons, outfits, and weapon variants. Warbonds behave like battle passes in that you unlock them page by page, but you can’t pay real money to skip levels and they never expire. In a way, they’re more like mini-expansions. These accolades have made them relatively popular with fans.

Pilestedt’s approach to game creation and monetization is rooted at least in part in his experience in the modding community on games like Quake and Half-Life. “I helped any mod team I could with art, levels, design, code, whatever,” he said. “I’ve looked into each of them, at least a lot of them. And the inspiration that we have for each title that we create is to sort of emulate the enthusiasm that existed in the era of modding between the modding team and the fans.

It’s an approach that works well. Despite a rocky start with overloaded servers that led to a wave of negative user reviews on Steam, Helldivers 2 regained a “mostly positive” rating from over 152,000 reviews. More importantly, people are playing it in large numbers: three weeks after launch, it remains the third most played game on Steam in terms of competitors, with a peak today surpassing 372,000. Players are deeply engaged in the game, especially now that the server issues are resolved, and there is real excitement for the future, which will include new goodies for players to wreak havoc with, including – we’re pretty sure – mechs.

Pilestedt also explained how Helldivers 2 is similar to D&D thanks to an all-powerful warmaster named Joel, whose behind-the-scenes machinations will ensure that Super Earth’s war against everything will become “more and more sophisticated as the game goes on.” time”. You don’t want to miss it, that’s a good thing.