Helldivers 2 Developer Arrowhead Appoints New CEO

Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead Game Studios has appointed a new CEO, but don’t worry; former CEO Johan Pilestedt isn’t going anywhere.

Per GamesIndustry.biz, ex-Paradox and Hooded Horse exec Shams Jorjani will step into the CEO role at Arrowhead, while Pilestedt will remain the studio’s CCO (chief creative officer) and chairman.

Pilestedt says that appointing a new CEO will allow him to focus more on the creative side of game development. He says that having a “reluctant CEO” at the head of Arrowhead would not “turn out that well”, and that this decision was made “for the success of the business but also myself”.

There’s a new CEO in town at Helldivers 2 studio Arrowhead.

As well as looking after the health of Arrowhead, it’s possible that Pilestedt’s decision to appoint a new CEO was inspired partially by the recent Helldivers 2 PlayStation ID controversy.

If you missed out on that, here’s a quick refresher. When Helldivers 2 launched on PC, it was originally intended to require a PlayStation ID linked to your Steam account to play, but that requirement was temporarily postponed owing to technical problems.

After a few months, it was announced that Arrowhead and Sony would once again require Helldivers 2 PC players to have a PlayStation ID to play, and the community responded with outrage and fury, review bombing the game on Steam in droves.

The requirement was eventually rescinded, and Helldivers 2‘s user reviews returned to normal, but not before the game was delisted in a number of countries that don’t allow PSN accounts to be created.

It’s possible this incident contributed to spooking Pilestedt into dealing with the appointment of a new CEO sooner rather than later.

A Helldiver shooting a Bile Titan in Helldivers 2 by Arrowhead Game Studios
Arrowhead’s Johan Pilestedt wants to focus on development rather than business.

As for Jorjani’s philosophy as Arrowhead’s CEO, he says he wants the company to be a “flagship studio” for which people aspire to work, akin to From Software or Blizzard in its prime.

Despite that, Jorjani says he doesn’t want Arrowhead to be a “500-person company”, describing that possibility as “quite painful in a lot of ways”.

Instead, Jorjani says he wants growth at Arrowhead to be “a means to an end” and says the studio has no plans to go public. Pilestedt adds that the Arrowhead team isn’t running the studio for profit, but “the desire to just make great games”.

You can check out Helldivers 2 right now on PC and PlayStation 5. Stay tuned for more on this and whatever Arrowhead decides to do next.