Helldivers 2 CEO steps down into a lead developer role and outlines his general vision for improvements


The name of Johan Pilestedt has been one of the more memorable ones for fans of Helldivers 2, particularly for his candid level of communication and interaction with the playerbase despite being the CEO for developer Arrowhead Game Studios. If that behavior seemed to suggest he’d rather be making games than running a company, then your presumption proved to be correct, as Pilestedt has officially stepped down into a more dev-facing role while naming a new replacement.

The replacement in question is Shams Jorjani, who has held senior leadership roles for 12 years at Paradox Interactive. Jorjani proudly proclaims that he’ll be handling the “boring business administration stuff that is a necessary part of running a company,” while Pilestedt will instead move to a new role as chairman and chief creative officer for the studio.

“Over the last year going to launch of Helldivers 2, I’ve been pulled more towards the business side of things, and not able to focus as much on the creative side,” Pilestedt admits. “That made me realize I needed to make some decisions, both for the success of the business but also myself.”

Pilestedt appears to be extremely eager to get to work on the design and development side of things: Shortly after he announced the move on Twitter, he began answering multiple questions that grant insight into his vision for the co-op shooter, including agreeing with improvements needed to things like armor stats, making more and longer-lasting content, ensuring devs are playing the game they’re making, and improving time-to-kill by ensuring weapons don’t feel like “pea shooters.”

Of course none of these plans have any firm dates or timelines, but clearly the moves made by Pilestedt are trending towards a positive direction for both him and ideally for the game. “I care more about weapon balance than QBRs,” he jokes.

sources: GamesIndustry.biz, Twitter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
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