Despite plenty of launch issues on PC, the PlayStation-published Helldivers 2 is having an astoundingly good day-one launch. With the highest concurrent player count of any PlayStation game released on Valve’s storefront after mere days, the jump from the first to second Helldivers reminds me of what Hopoo Games did with Risk of Rain 2, and the change in approach has worked incredibly well for both.
Helldivers 2 is everywhere at the moment, as the Starship Troopers-inspired co-op game is rocketing up the Steam charts. In just two days since the PC and PS5 launch, Helldivers 2 has hit a concurrent player peak just shy of 120,000 on Steam, with the number of people diving in likely to rise over the weekend.
The Helldivers 2 sales on Steam are also doing great, as it pushes past the likes of Palworld and Valve’s own Counter-Strike 2 to get the number one spot. There are plenty of reasons the co-op shooter is doing well, but we at PCGamesN can’t help but draw a line between Helldivers and Risk of Rain.
The original Helldivers was a top-down twin-stick shooter, while the first Risk of Rain was a side-scrolling roguelike. Both games then made the jump to the third-person shooter genre, with Risk of Rain 2 retaining the roguelike goodness and Helldivers 2 still being all about blasting giant space bugs. I’m sure the Helldivers 2 crossplay and the cost of the game have helped as well, of course.
The change in perspective brought in tens of thousands more players to both series though, as you can see via direct comparisons on SteamDB. Immediate player counts aren’t everything, and Helldivers 2 is the clear breakaway success thanks to Sony’s backing, but both games made the leap to the third-person shooter genre and saw even more success when they did.
You might be surprised to see a PlayStation-published game on PC the same day as Sony’s consoles, with first-party releases typically coming to Steam and GOG at least a year after PS5, but head of PlayStation Studios Herman Hulst already made the case for release parity like this back in 2022.
“Live service games are a little bit different in nature because you want to have a really strong community and really strong engagement right away when you go live,” Hulst said to Julien Chièze in an interview. “We might, in the case of our live service offerings, go day and date with PC and the PlayStation platform.”
It’s no surprise then that Helldivers 2, a multiplayer shooter with plenty of post-launch plans, has come to PC on the same day as PS5. It’s clearly paid off too, with the player count and Steam sales success proving it.
If you’re considering giving the new shooter a go, we’ve got everything you need to know about the Helldivers 2 system requirements and Helldivers 2 Steam Deck compatibility, with anti-cheat holding it back right now, depending on how you want to play.