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Helldivers 2 roadmap is ‘very out of date in comparison to what we now want to do’ according to Arrowhead’s CEO, as the game’s stratospheric launch brings new ideas and ambition to the studio

Helldivers 2 dropped its first live-service twist last night, as its robotic automaton faction abruptly invaded several human planets, forcing players to heel-turn away from the Terminid frontline to undertake defensive missions halfway across the galaxy. It’s likely this event has been planned by developers Arrowhead Game Studios for a while, but according to the studio’s CEO Johan Pilestedt, the longer-term future of Helldivers 2 might be very different from what Arrowhead originally planned.

Pilestedt has been posting frequently on Twitter about various subjects relating to Helldivers 2, and last night he took stock of the game’s launch week, stating how he was “completely exhausted” by the success of Helldivers, adding “So is the team.” Nonetheless, he is “very, very pleased” at how the launch has gone.

In response to this, a user who goes by Mario asked “Any news about the roadmap?” to which Pilestedt replied. “Our team is working on it. Our old roadmap is very out of date in comparison to what we now want to do.” This was followed by the hashtag “#more”.

Some of this roadmap adjustment is likely due to the developer’s frantic scramble to keep the game running following its outsize launch. It’s an issue Pilestedt addresses in the same thread, running down exactly what the studio’s been through to get the game where it needs to be. “Many, many late nights, on-calls, emergency meetings, discussions around server capacity, shards, capacity units, CPU utilization, login rates and CCU,” Pilestedt wrote. But the result should be a much more stable experience this weekend. “And now, standing on the threshold of the weekend, with fingers crossed starting intently at the CCU graph and the icons for various subsystems glowing with a vibrant green ‘OK’. Last weekend, a lot of them were in bright red ‘NOT OK.’

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Clearly though, Pilestedt’s comments regarding the roadmap refer to ideas beyond maintenance and technical support. He doesn’t go into what these are, but it likely relates to the game’s live-service Galactic War. Most of the discussion around Helldivers’ live-service has been relief at how little it impacts upon player experience. But as a long-running live-service sceptic, the potential of its real-time Galactic War is the most excited I’ve ever been for a live-service game. The fact that other player actions are ever present at the periphery of your own game really makes you feel like part of a larger, developing narrative, and the automaton invasion is just a taste of what Arrowhead could do to twist the story, from incursions by new alien races into Managed Democracy’s territory, to expansion of the war into new, strange uncharted areas of space. Such ideas were likely kicking around already, so for Arrowhead to now have even bigger plans has me genuinely quite giddy.

For now though, Pilestedt’s main hope is a fun weekend for players, and a quiet one for him and his team. “While I dread this weekend from a technical perspective, the team has done a fantast job in ironing out the kinks and I hope you all will be able to have a great time playing the game.”


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