Helldivers 2 developer gets new CEO, plans to remain independent studio

Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead has a new CEO.

Earlier today, it was announced that Shams Jorjani – who was previously part of the team that published Arrowhead’s game, Magicka – will take the leadership role at the company, replacing founder Johan Pilestedt.

Pilestedt will remain in leadership following this change and will now serve as chief creative officer and chairman of Arrowhead.

Helldivers 2 – Duty Trailer Report | PS5 and PC games. Watch on YouTube

“We were both at a stage where we were wondering what was next in our careers,” Giorgani told Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz today. “And we realized that we probably wouldn’t be able to get to those places if we didn’t have the other to help us get there.”

Pilestedt added, “When it comes to the overall direction of the organization, I’m still the chairman. So Shams and I will still have strategic conversations about how we take Arrowhead into the future.”

The two likened themselves to Frodo and Sam from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy heading to Mordor. “The forgetful approach of ‘we’re going to take it one step at a time and then solve the problems as they come,'” Pilstedt said, adding that “Arrowhead’s strength is the camaraderie we share among the team and a willingness to help each other.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, the duo also touched on any potential acquisitions following the massive success of Helldivers 2. For now, the plan is for Arrowhead to remain an independent studio. β€œI want to see how high we can fly. And by including Shams, we have a good potential to realize that future of becoming the next From Software or Blizzard,” Pilestedt said.

Also, while the team’s focus remains on Helldivers 2 for now, Arrowhead is also looking to the future and what might come next.

“We feel like we have so much more to give and so many more games we want to make,” Pilestedt shared. β€œThe level of ambition and appetite of the organization has grown significantly. Now we have a taste for blood and we want more.”

Giorgani added that Arrowhead’s goal is to “make really great co-op games” and eventually make the company “a flagship studio where people who want to make games like this say, ‘I want to work at Arrowhead.'”

The newly appointed CEO said this doesn’t mean the studio will suddenly start hiring 500+ staff members. “We will see growth, but growth as a means to an end, not as an end in itself,” he said. “We have no plans to go public. None of that nonsense. Measured growth that allows us to make amazing games and be a great place to work.”

β€œWe do not run the business for monetary gain. Humility and wanting to just make great games is the only reason we exist,” Pilestedt concluded.

Image credit: Arrowhead

Elsewhere in Arrowhead news, the Helldivers 2 team is considering a “slightly lower” update frequency after a busy first few months.

“We want to spend a little more time on this one and potentially between future patches,” explained Helldivers 2 community manager Twinbeard on Discord. “We think the cadence was probably too high for us to maintain the standard of quality that we want and you deserve.”

This follows on from Pilestedt’s earlier admission that Helldivers 2’s balancing sometimes “went too far”.

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