Helldivers 2 Online Gameplay Has Dropped 90% Since Launch

Sony never recovered from their Helldivers 2 implosion. After making the idiotic decision to restrict access to Helldivers 2 to those with a PlayStation Network account, gamers fought back by giving the game bad reviews (this is what actual review-bombing looks like, not the situation with The Acolyte) and canceling their PSN accounts. Eventually, Sony relented and allowed the game to be played by anyone who bought it via Steam. But things haven’t gotten better for Sony after that; according to Forbes, Helldivers 2 has lost 90% of its online players since it launched on February 8, 2024. It peaked two weeks after its launch, when it had 458,709 concurrent online players. Then, engagement mostly declined steadily, particularly after a big bump on April 1. Its peak on Saturday, June 29, was 44,093 concurrent players, less than 10% of its all-time peak.

Helldivers 2 drop

Why are gamers abandoning Helldivers 2? Forbes cites complaints that the game has gotten too difficult in later levels, to the extent that it’s no fun anymore. Add-ons are also surprises rather than being announced, which means Sony can’t generate excitement for things to come. I think these may be factors, but the main reason is probably that people simply lost interest in Helldivers 2. Even if a game is fun, you can only play it for so long before it becomes boring, and you want to move on to something else, at least for a little while. The drop-off was probably so steep because the game was so popular right away; few people had to discover it because everyone who wanted to was already playing it. There was also the rebellious factor to it; critics argued that Helldivers 2 was fascist and somebody needed to think of the children, so playing it felt like a middle finger to these obnoxious scolds. But that feeling can only last so long, and as the complaints die down, the game has to appeal to gamers on its own, and again, that appeal wanes over time, even with the best games. And I’m sure at least part of it was people fed up with Sony who simply quit when they pulled their PSN stunt. It’s also important to note, as Forbes does, that Helldivers 2 is still a success for Sony, considering how many people played it in the beginning. However, the massive dip in players indicates that its longevity as an open-ended online multiplayer is a lot shorter than Sony would have liked. If the player base has been whittled down this much in just a few months, Helldivers 2 will likely have disappeared from the zeitgeist by next year. And who knows; maybe there’ll be a resurgence over the summer, now that kids are off and need to fill their days with something other than schoolwork – like killing aliens and robots. But given the trend in that graph, I don’t see it rebounding nearly as much as Sony would like it to.

Comments (1)

July 1, 2024 at 11:26 pm

Gamers are so sharp.
Thank you so much, Gamers, for not being like the sucker public and taking crap from Fink

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