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Beloved Helldivers 2 CEO steps down to focus on making the game

Johan Pilestedt is stepping down as Arrowhead CEO and becoming CCO, spending more time developing Helldivers 2 over running the studio.

Helldivers 2 CEO steps down: a close up of a white space marine helmet

The CEO of Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead Game Studios, Johan Pilestedt, is stepping down from the role so he can spend even more time working on the game and remaining close to the community. Pilestedt will take on the role of chief creative officer (CCO) going forward, with a new CEO appointed for Arrowhead.

Shams Jorjani will replace Pilestedt as Arrowhead’s CEO. Jorjani worked as chief business development officer at Paradox Interactive, and was a chairman of the board and investor at Manor Lords publisher Hooded Horse. Pilestedt will remain at Arrowhead and continue to work on Helldivers 2, with him releasing a statement on the co-op game via X.

Big update, I’ve decided to hire Shams Jorjani as the new CEO of [Arrowhead Game Studios]. We go way back and I wouldn’t trust the business in any other hands than his (and he comes with an impressive resume and love for games),” Pilestedt says after the change was revealed by GamesIndustry.biz.

“But what about me and my involvement in Helldivers 2? Well, I’m glad you asked! I am taking the role of chief creative officer, which means I will spend more time with the team and 100% of my focus on the games and community!”

Helldivers 2 CEO steps down: Pilestedt tweets about his new role

Some thought Pilestedt was initially announcing he would step down from Arrowhead as a whole, before he replied “Nah! Not nearly done. But I care more about weapon balance than [quarterly business reviews].” Pilestedt was also asked what his new position as CCO means for feedback. “Very good question,” he replies. “First thing we got to do is ensure we get more devs time playing the game. It’s hard to make the right decisions if the eyes aren’t on the road.

“Secondly, I want to ensure we actively look at the sentiment and create a holistic view of why feedback is given. And my working theory is that [time to kill] is too high.”

As Pilestedt explains, the goal here is to allow him more time to actually develop the game instead of running Arrowhead itself. He’s always been close to the community and where Helldivers 2 is going, but this should afford him more time to make the game.

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