Helldivers 2’s PSN fiasco costs fan-favorite Community Manager their job

Ethan Dean
Man screaming in Helldivers 2

It has been a precarious few days for Helldivers devs but none more so than a Community Manager who sided with players during the recent PSN controversy, resulting in his removal from the company.

The Helldivers 2 development team and player community was recently rocked by the controversial decision to require Steam players to link a PSN account in order to play. The consequences of implementing such a change would have seen players in 177 countries unable to spread Managed Democracy.

The announcement resulted in an enormous amount of backlash and record-breaking review bombing. Eventually, PlayStation was forced to overturn the decision thanks to the massive collective effort that is somewhat characteristic of Helldivers 2 players.

In the aftermath, PC Gamer noted the suspicious absence of popular Helldivers 2 Community Manager Spitz in the game’s Discord channel. Initially, Spitz returned to Discord explaining to the community that they were “almost” fired. Since then however, Spitz has been terminated as a Community Manager and the playerbase is in an uproar.

Helldivers 2 Community Manager sided with players

“Generally it’s not a good idea to tell people to refund and leave negative reviews when you’re a Community Manager,” Spitz said by way of explanation for their firing. “I appreciate all the support and I appreciate even more that everyone can play the game again without restrictions. I knew I was taking a risk with what I said about refunding and changing reviews. I stand by it. It was my job to represent the community, that’s what I did.”

It appears that PlayStation was unhappy with Spitz’s advice to players looking to have an impact on the PSN linking situation. “Players making their displeasure known through reviews, refunds etc. gives us more pull in the discussion with Sony,” Spitz had suggested during the drama. “It hurts to see the game’s popularity suffer in ratings, but discussions are ongoing and we are on the side of players in this fight.”

It does seem as if the advice was well-founded given that PlayStation’s decision to axe the update was the result of player outrage. Although it has come at a rather large cost to Spitz themselves who are no longer even present in the Helldivers 2 Discord.

In their absence, the channel has been flooded with requests to rehire Spitz and players have even created a change.org petition to get their message heard. Others have suggested a second wave of review bombing which would be an awful shame given they had only just restored the game’s Steam rating to Mostly Positive.