Microsoft F***s Bethesda, Helldivers 2 Fans Revolt

Helldiver 2 has been a fan-favorite game since it was released in February. Steam ratings for the game were through the roof and people were having tons of fun with the co-op shooter… until this week.

While Helldivers 2 was initially released on both PS5 and Steam, the Steam version didn’t require users to either sign into or sign up for Playstation Network to play. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. Players were enjoying the game on PC and had no issues with connectivity, latency, or matchmaking. Seems pretty good, right? Yes, completely right.

Even though things were going perfectly fine, Sony decided that it was finally time to implement PSN sign-in for the PC version of the game, and that’s where the fun ends. Sony announced the upcoming change to the game’s login requirement and in doing so, alienated their entire player base.


Players went to Sony support to share information from their own user agreement that stated that PSN was optional for Sony games on PC, and they also pointed out that Helldivers 2 would now be unplayable in 177 territories because PSN wasn’t available in those regions. Arrowhead Game Studios, the Helldivers 2’s developer, joined the side of the players and encouraged people to review bomb the game on Steam which lead to over 80,000 negative reviews hitting the game in the span of a few days.

After the massive uproar, Sony conceded and decided not to move forward with the PSN implementation for the PC version of Helldivers 2, and while things have settled down a bit for now, there was a casualty at the end of it all. The Arrowhead Game Studios community manager that sided with the players and encouraged the review bombing was fired after all was said and done. What a good life lesson. Stand up for consumers, side with your passionate player base, get the big bad corpos to concede, and still get fired.

Sony had a bad week for sure, but Microsoft has had what seems like a bad year and it’s only getting worse. I actually wish I could not talk about some Microsoft issue for one week, but it seems like that just isn’t possible.

Earlier this week, Mircosoft shuttered several Bethesda development studios, most notably Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin. Both of these studios are highly respected in the game development community, but Tango Gamework in particular has caused many people to question the efficacy and intelligence of MS and Xbox leadership.

Tango released Hi-Fi Rush, a rhythm-based action game, in January 2023 and it quickly became a fan and critic favorite. The game received 24 award nominations and won 5 awards during the 2023-2024 game awards season, and renewed some hope in Xbox after a lackluster couple of years from the hardware and software developer. So, it is easy to understand why people are up in arms about this particular closure. What’s even more disappointing is that Tango was in the process of pitching Hi-Fi Rush 2 to Microsoft at the time that the studio was shuttered.

That’s not the end of the stupidity either. One day after announcing the closure of Tango Gameworks, Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios, said this in a town hall meeting:

So small award-winning games like Hi-Fi Rush? It was an absolutely surreal moment when this leaked to the press and the public one day after the announcement of Tango’s closure.

Aaron Greenburg, the author of the Tweet above, is the VP of Xbox Games Marketing. I have no other words.

To make matters worse, MS also announced that they aren’t done with the cuts yet. Employees at ZeniMax are already being offered voluntary severance and non-voluntary layoffs are expected to happen soon. This is coming right off the back of the 1900 layoffs that MS levied in January 2024.

While nothing has been officially announced, most industry insiders and experts are attributing these layoffs partially to Microsoft's $68.7 Billion acquisition of Activision/Blizzard in October 2023. I mentioned this last week, but it is important to reiterate this. Over the last 4 years, Microsoft has spent over $75 BILLION on acquiring Bethesda and Activision. Now the developers that work for these studios are starting to feel the effects of Microsoft overplaying their financial hand.

It’s been a said period for Xbox fans, and things may not be getting better soon with decisions like these happening frequently.

Game Recommendation & Cheat Code

My game recommendation for this week may seem very similar to one that I made a few weeks ago, but hey I’m in a Pokemon mood! My recommendation for this week is Pokemon Sword/Shield for Nintendo Switch.

After completing my Pokemon Shining Pearl playthrough, I wanted to revisit Pokemon Sword. I bought the game at release, but I never got very far. When I booted up my previous save, I had only reached level 15 on my starter pokemon and had barely gotten out of the starting areas. I decided to start a new game and I have been having a ball with it since. The game feels much better to play after playing through some of the new features and game updates via Shining Pearl, and I am really enjoying the new region and zone types.

The cheat code for this week is an old-school Pokemon generation 1 glitch/cheat that allows you to duplicate any item in your inventory. I always used this method to get infinite rare candies.

  • Place the item that you want to duplicate in the sixth slot of your inventory.

  • Talk to the old man again in Viridian City and witness how he catches the Pokemon.

  • Fly to the Seafoam Islands and Surf in the water once again.

  • Encounter a MissingNo. but don’t catch it and just run away or you can defeat it.

  • After the battle, the item in the sixth slot will be multiplied and if you did it right, you just need to do it once.