helldivers 2 johan

Arrowhead’s CEO Has Stepped Down To Focus On Making Helldivers 2 Even Better

Arrowheading off.

There’s no doubt that Helldivers 2 has been a rare industry success story amongst a period of months and years where layoffs, studio closures and expensive flops have dominated the news cycle. And if you’ve been even loosely observing the game’s development and post-launch journey you’ll no doubt be familiar with developer Arrowhead’s strong commitment to its game design and community, speararrowheaded by its CEO, Johan Pilestedt. Well, former CEO now.

Pilestedt has revealed, via an announcement on social media and interview with Games Industry, that he’s stepping down from the role of CEO and instead pivoting to become the studio’s Chief Creative Officer (CCO), appointing a longtime industry collaborator and eventual Helldivers 2 adviser, Shams Jorjani, as the new CEO. The idea, according to Pilestedt, is to give himself more time to work with the studio’s creative teams and shape the future of both Helldivers 2 and whatever comes next, as well as engaging more with the community.

That community engagement has been a strength of the former CEO’s since Helldivers 2 launched, often putting his neck out on social media to address hiccups and controversies head on, often to extremes that you wouldn’t expect of a company figurehead. Pilestedt told people not to buy the game when servers were overloaded early on, and speaking for players when a revealed PSN account linking policy proved to be incredibly divisive, even taking review bombings on the chin in the best ways.

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“When it comes to the overall direction of the organisation, I am still the chairman, Pilestedt tells GI in the interview. “So me and Shams are still going to have strategic conversations on how are we going to take Arrowhead into the future.”

“My job is to enable him and the other creative people to be able to do more games,” Jorjani adds. “And that’s also what matters to the players. I play Helldivers and I hear my friends ask… ‘are we going to get more stuff?’ And I’m like ‘yes, soon, because Johan will have more time to do it’. ‘We want more enemies!’ I’ll tell Johan.”